July 22, 2009

Wednesday 090722

Rest Day

Games09MikkoToes2Bar-th.jpg

Enlarge image

2009 CrossFit Games Overview by Marty Cej and John Buffone - video [wmv] [mov]


"Health Care Mythology" by Clifford S. Asness, Ph.D. - via Zero Hedge

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at July 22, 2009 1:57 PM
Comments

no comments? really?

Comment #1 - Posted by: Ricky C. 28/m/5'10"/185 at July 21, 2009 6:05 PM

Hi fellow CrossFitters! Have a nice rest day!

"PROPS TO THA FRAT!!!"

Franiel

Comment #2 - Posted by: Daniel Krull AKA "Franiel" at July 21, 2009 6:12 PM

I can't read the article from work, our firewall blocks the site. I'll read it later and comment. For now I'll just say cheers and hope everyone is doing great.

Prost!

Comment #3 - Posted by: Ruiner_SSgt_USAF at July 21, 2009 6:13 PM

I miss being at the Games with everybody. Especially with all the footage that's being posted.
Quite possibly one of the best experiences and events i've ever been to, with equally as great people!
Love this community and program!

Comment #4 - Posted by: Eric Gohl 22/5'10/162 at July 21, 2009 6:14 PM

Great video. Haven't read the article yet. One of my clients is the mom of one of the Games competitors ... she said it was just incredible! She's gone over her videos, and all she can hear is herself screaming. Not just for her son, but for everyone. She gets it!!

Comment #5 - Posted by: Amy - CF NRV at July 21, 2009 6:22 PM

I just got started on Crossfit 2 days ago, and I'm upset that I've already got a rest day. *sigh* I can't wait until Thursday though!

These videos are very inspirational. I hope to attend Crossfit Games sometime (when money allows it). Getting to see people in all-around great fitness would be such a privilege to see...

Comment #6 - Posted by: Chef Bobby Slay, M.A. at July 21, 2009 6:32 PM

The Warren-Miller-like narration on the video was a nice touch. It was also great to see some stake-pounding and sand bag picking up, which I was curious about. Next, I hope to see some CrossFit Games diaries by individual athletes (with or without video). We haven't heard details about certain competitors' difficulties, including certain favorites who didn't make it to Sunday. That sort of information can be great for learning, just like the stories of those who made it to or through the last event.

Comment #7 - Posted by: WeemsFit at July 21, 2009 6:37 PM

at 5:05 in the video, there's a guy in a 'Volunteer' shirt massaging Jolie Gentry's legs. Ahem. I would like to officially announce my candidacy for the leg massage volunteer position for the 2010 CF Games.

Comment #8 - Posted by: chris at July 21, 2009 6:48 PM

As a physician, I am in a unique place to comment on the merits of this article. Where the author makes good points with his subheadings, the text of the article does little to substantiate these claims. Its just the Right's corollary to the rhetoric the "Socialists" are putting out. This is why I eschew politics, and loathe political columnists even more. You can spot a ideologue when they act as if every policy a lawmaker suggests is laden with the shadowy machinations of a dark and vengeful political party bent on bankrupting the nation. We see this crap from both side. I digress...

Despite this hastily-drawn health policy before our Congress, let me remind you that when it comes to medicine, we are already socialists. I get paid on a percentage of what medicare (ie, the govt) deems is reasonable. And as we see each July when budgets are made, those percentages are reduced and shifted at the whims of suits in DC.

My opinion: ramming this controversial legislation--which some estimates suggest could destroy at least the insurance if not pharmaceutical industries--through Congress, the US is embarking on a major one way trip with no looking back. If we do anything hastily, it should be the establishment of a national electronic med records system that would cut costs by eliminating repeat tests and the administrative costs and time delays of med record transfers.

Now thats a bipartisan solution to make an impact on healthcare costs.

Comment #9 - Posted by: Brendan at July 21, 2009 6:53 PM

#8 chris

Well played

Comment #10 - Posted by: Eric Gohl 22/5'10/162 at July 21, 2009 6:58 PM

Great video.

Comment #11 - Posted by: thatadchic at July 21, 2009 7:16 PM

Ah, perhaps I'll just post my blog entry here this week.

Hey Barry and Apolloswabbie, Joe doesn't think we have the intellectual chops to handle this one.

I'll be back...

Comment #12 - Posted by: bingo at July 21, 2009 7:21 PM

I think it is fair to say that the government can insure the average citizen for less than a private company can. There are plenty of examples of countries that spend a lot less per capita on health care and have equal or better results. What ever happened to the idea that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

There is almost zero evidence in this article. So much for getting the scientific method from a doctor.

Comment #13 - Posted by: IOB at July 21, 2009 7:24 PM

I think Brendan makes some valid points and seems to understand the HC situation very well. Which, I guess is not surprising considering his profession.

Joe,

I am a little confused by what your views are or seem to be. Your first post suggests you don't agree with anything the article said. However, the article very clearly states that socialized medicine won't work (at least not if the US turns to it). In your second post, you seem to be unhappy that so many health care costs are incurred by the public sector. Are you for socialized medicine or against it? Because if you are for it, it doesn't make a lot of sense that you seem disturbed by the public sector incurring 46% of the financial burden (for HC), but your solution is to shift to 100 percent. If you are against socialized medicine, then you at least agree with some of the concepts from the article. The writer seems like a bit of a mental case, but I fully agree (as Brendan said) that some of his section headings (if not all) are right on point even if they do lack substantial evidence in the body of the article.

By the way, I know everyone can be whoever and whatever they want to be while posting somewhat anonymously online, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people claim intellectual superiority (or physical superiority) to everyone else via the internet. If you are so smart, enlighten us with your vast stores of wisdom. Please, don't keep it all to yourself. I like to learn.

Thanks.

Comment #14 - Posted by: MMalmfeldt at July 21, 2009 7:24 PM

Great job on the video and narration.

Dan D.
www.CrossFitStickers.com

Comment #15 - Posted by: Dan D. at July 21, 2009 7:24 PM

Go Bingo.

#11 The hasty rush to an EMR is not all roses either. We now have floor nurses "chained" to rows of computers (or using COWS - computers on wheels), tediously entering copious, user unfriendly data instead of spending their time actually taking care of the patients.

The rush to an EMR is also not so much about patient record "ownership and portability" (though this would be ideal), as it is about monitoring upcoming compliance issues with "treatment mandates". It's all how it's spun I guess.

Comment #16 - Posted by: Kathy W. at July 21, 2009 7:53 PM

There is a reasonably simple solution to health care that I have not heard yet (in it's entirety from one source)

1) limit mal-practice settlements to the cost of correction and wages missed*.

2) Tax employer sponsored plans as ordinary income.

3) Allow Health Savings accounts to have pre-tax contributions and tax free withdrawals for health related expenses. (this is how it works today)

4) Mandate that all citizens have health insurance. Nothing fancy, just minimum protection for catastrophic injury. This also requires that certain states change their laws regarding minimum coverage that insurance provides to allow for the minimum coverage.

5) Incent employers to provide health insurance for employees by offering a tax reduction of x% of their marginal rate if they provide at least the minimum plan and an HSA.

eg. If the reduction was 5% and the employer was in the a 30% top marginal tax bracket the employer would pay 25% on income over the level where 30% is to be in effect. This reduction in tax paid by the employer would be calculated to be equal to the new tax generated by the tax on employer sponsored plans.**

These measures would encourage employers to provide high deductible plans with attached HSAs. The nature of these plans would require that there are no green lists of doctors who accept only certain plans allowing people to shop their treatment, causing greater competition within the health care arena. Another useful provision would be to change the way doctors are compensated to be more results oriented unfortunately I am not sure exactly how to do this. I would like to ask a doctor how this could be done (wink wink nudge nudge, I think there are a few docs who post).

*Use a formula based on the individual's education, and career level

** The actual percent reduction would take a lot more calculation than I can muster at 11pm.

Comment #17 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at July 21, 2009 8:01 PM

great overview video on the games! thanks!

Comment #18 - Posted by: kevin o at July 21, 2009 8:05 PM

This is in response to those wanting proof regarding the healthcare article. As a physician assistant I have had the opportunity to talk with various patients around the world. After a lecture that I had given I was approached by a Canadian with questions regarding rheumatoid arthritis. I directed her toward making an appointment with a specialist, a rheumatologist. She said she had an appointment but it wasn't for two more years. That is how long it takes for Canadians to get appointments with specialists. She then informed me that all the well qualified family doctors moved to the States to practice medicine and they now have a shortage of doctors in Canada. I also had the opportunity to travel to Australia. They have a socialized medicine system as well. The government run hospitals are rampant with infection and again it is very difficult to see specialists. Many citizens have chosen to buy private insurance as well just to get adequate health care. So now they are paying for the government insurance through taxes and also paying for private insurance.
As a practioner I have been severely frustrated with the US government run Medicaid system. It is burdensome and bureaucratic. Patients have limited access to specialists and are denied necessary medical treatments repeatedly including prescription drugs. I feel the government needs to fix the problems with their existing healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, before even beginning to discuss further government intrusion.

Comment #19 - Posted by: Tara at July 21, 2009 8:15 PM

Comment #19 Mike -- you forgot to allow people to purchase insurance across state lines. Yet another artificial barrier to competition, so that tools in the house can say 'healthcare isn't competitive enough to lower prices'....and it never will be, as long as the government will pay $5000 for a wheel chair that costs half.

Piss on single-payer medicine. Anybody ever been a military Champus or Tri-Care dependant? That's one of the models that is going to be emulated, per Tom Daschle.

Comment #20 - Posted by: chris at July 21, 2009 8:21 PM

I thought I did the Filthy 50 before but my log says I've only done 1/2 so I did my first tonight :) DAY-UM! What an a$$-kicker!! Used 20" box (gotta quit being a puss&use 24" consistently!!) #14 ball for wall balls, #25 db for swings (another puss move!) and subbed 250 skips for the double unders i'm still working on.
29:36
almost met pukie on the burpees when my wod partner sat down in a puddle and started to heave& turn green, but we both powered through. I'm thinking rest day for me tomorrow!! #5 Eric - we will be forever bonded by our 1-plus hour in the 110degree sun waiting for food!!! Big hugs and bad english for all :)

Comment #21 - Posted by: Cookie at July 21, 2009 8:36 PM

#18 kathy:

Its either chained to a computer on wheels or chained to a desk with an antiquated chart. At least the computer moves and can be in the patients room. Also, the data shows these EMRs cut down on medication errors. Nurses and techs at most hospitals are actually incorperated into the design and implementation of such systems, and they should be since they are end-users. If they arent at your hospital, talk to your sup or CNO.

#19 Mike Morgan:

where is that from? It sounds OK but is far to complicated for the simps in DC to package and sell to us. not enough buzzwords...

Regarding the "pay for performance" clause--this is something that is already essentially in teh works. As Kathy alluded to, the EMRs can quite easily be used to track provider-side outcomes and could be used to change reimbursement accordingly for "good" or "bad" medicine. Sounds great in theory...the problem is the complexity of medicine, or what we like to call "the art of medicine." Unfortunately, things arent so cut and dried that a bureaucrat (or even an expert MD) can determine what is right or wrong. It will mainly be used by regulatory boards to control surgical site infections and things of that nature; any extension beyond that could be oppressive for physician practice.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Brendan at July 21, 2009 8:37 PM

And one of the major points to revising health care is left unaddressed by the article... costs are driving hard-working, nose-to-the-grindstone-their-whole-life types of good americans (ya know, the backbone of the country!) into bankruptcy on a daily basis. I sure would like to know all the details in the bill but the conservatives had a good long time to do something and as with the economy did nothing... they still don't have an alternative plan.
Much easier to point the finger than to point the way!

Comment #23 - Posted by: AMERISWEDE at July 21, 2009 8:46 PM

FitMom - way to hammer that steak in the ground on the vid!!! I cant even imagine. You are a rockstar!

Comment #24 - Posted by: Cookie at July 21, 2009 8:49 PM

#9 chris

good call my friend

Comment #25 - Posted by: Todd at July 21, 2009 8:53 PM

I won't comment on every point made in the article. Suffice it to say that I disagree with the concept of socialized medicine. But I must take issue with the author's explanation as to why healthcare is not a right. My, oh my! What a convoluted mess! IMO, this is proof of the fundamental problem in America--namely, that people don't understand the concept of individual rights.

It's actually quite simple. We have the right to pursue our lives and our happiness as we see fit, as long as we don't interfere with someone else's right to do the same. That's pretty much it. Interfering or violating someone else's rights is called a "crime." The only proper role of government--ONLY proper role--is to protect these rights. Ideally, no one's rights would ever be violated (through crime), so there would be no need for government. But for now, the only way we can protect our rights is through a government (making government the "necesary evil").

The only proper role of government is to protect our rights, period. No, it's not a role of government to provide healthcare, or schooling, or welfare, etc. And it's also NOT a role of government to promote religion, or to define marriage, or to look out for our morality. THIS is what it means to have a "smaller government," except that the term "smaller" isn't accurate. A better term would be to have "PRECISE government," a government as small or big as necessary to protect these rights.

So it's pretty obvious why healthcare is not a right. If it were, not having it would be considered a crime, and that simply makes no sense. We are certainly free to PURSUE healthcare. That is most definitely our right. Just like we have a right to pursue education and employment, but we don't have a RIGHT to education and employment.

The author's confusion in regards to the definition of a "right" is very telling, and it highlights the fundamental problem in most of today's debates. I've even come across many people--liberals AND conservatives--that think GOVERNMENTS grant or give us our rights! (Don't even get me started on that one...) It's kind of difficult to convince anyone that something is or isn't a right if neither side knows how to define the term.

And of course, this is but one part of the "bigger" conversation we should be having--and are having, for the most part. Namely, defining the proper role of government. We need to stop arguing about "smaller" vs. "bigger" government, and instead focus on establishing PRECISELY what government should and shouldn't be doing--and WHY.

Yeah, I said it was simple, but I didn't say it would be short! Take care....

Comment #26 - Posted by: JMM at July 21, 2009 8:53 PM

Has anyone mentioned that their legs need this rest day!

Comment #27 - Posted by: Askey at July 21, 2009 8:53 PM

Great video. Did not understand the remark that "dehydration caused some to not be able to provide urine for test" (or something to that effect). Being drug tested numerous times for athletic events...I got them a damn sample...in front of a tester...no matter what. Even in drug free bodybuilding when I was dehydrated to the max and sucking on ice cubes, I provided a sample. Maybe collecting samples the night before the event would make it easier on the athletes?

Comment #28 - Posted by: Anthony Springman at July 21, 2009 8:53 PM

Video capture was great.

However, the issue of focusing on heat and dehydration brought me down. Last year at this time everyone was so concerned about rhybo or whatever...

I dont think this video or the narritive makes the case.

if these folks are the fittist in the world, why are they affected by heat so much. it comes down to hydration and diet.

Comment #29 - Posted by: tom at July 21, 2009 8:58 PM

QUICK QUESTION RE: XFIT location in WA
I may be moving near Colville, WA and was wondering if there was any affiliates nearby. Im not familiar enough wtih WA yet to know all the names although I did see the Spokane gyms approx an hour away. Anyhelp would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
jdaleolson@yahoo.com

Comment #30 - Posted by: jake o at July 21, 2009 8:59 PM

Thank you for that video.

As for the article... had I gone out in the middle of my street and dropped a deuce, then examined it with a microscope .... I would have found this article.

Thank you for saving me the social humiliation of crapping on my street.

Oh an when in the PHD of this article uses phrases such as "I’m reasonably certain..." ... start putting your doubting caps on folks.

Viva CrossFit.
Nathan Kemp Airline Captain
Husband to a Pharmaceutical Rep.
Purchaser of some seriously awesome insurance benefits.

Comment #31 - Posted by: Nathan Kemp at July 21, 2009 9:02 PM

Cool Video. I'd love to make it to the games next year either as a spectator or a competitor. However, the video made me raise a couple questions.

How could any random person be pulled from the spectators to be judges? They had better have been extremely familiar with crossfit to be judging this competition.

Because the video chose to display this bit of information, I feel it removes some of the credit the crossfit community deserves for the Crossfit Games to be accepted by the world. I know we don't need acceptance and recognition, but I want next year's event to be broadcast on national television and for everyone to know who the world's fittest man is... Next year's event must have legit judging, which brings up my next point...

Jason Khalipa is the man, and I totally respect and admire him, but his Snatch in the video was certainly not below parallel. Was that his best snatch?!?! is below parallel the mark of a succesful Snatch? Please let me know.

Also, I think the "stake pounding" WOD was a little ridiculous...but i'm sure this has already been debated too much. It is what is.

Thoughts?

Comment #32 - Posted by: soccerman/23/182/6' at July 21, 2009 9:08 PM

#29 Anthony Springman
I couldn't agree more. It really shouldn't be an issue.

Comment #33 - Posted by: shawn at July 21, 2009 9:09 PM

Also the dehydration comment was a bit odd. Why disclose that to us? Why not correct all this for next year? Everything MUST be legit...

Comment #34 - Posted by: soccerman/23/182/6' at July 21, 2009 9:10 PM

From the House version of the healthcare bill. Note: this is in Twitter language from Peter Fleckstein (aka Fleckman).

Here is a link to actual bill for comparison to Fleckman:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.pdf

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes u get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!


Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. U have no choice!

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided 2 ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill - Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will b issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access 2 ur banks accts 4 elect. funds transfer

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan 4 retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange 2 bring priv HC plans under Govt control.

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Govt mandates ALL benefit pkgs 4 priv. HC plans in the Exchange

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration ur Healthcare!

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill - Govt mandates linguistic approp svcs. Example - Translation 4 illegal aliens

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps 2 sign up indiv. for Govt HC plan

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Ben Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members - U Health care WILL b rationed

-PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Indiv. will b automat.enrolled in Medicaid. No choice

pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt Monop

pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill - Doctors/ #AMA - The Govt will tell YOU what u can make.

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into pub opt plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay 4 HC 4 part time employees AND their families.

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Emplyr w payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll

pg 150 Lines 9-13 Biz w payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesnt prov. pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesnt have acceptable HC accrdng 2 Govt will be taxed 2.5% of inc

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from indiv. taxes. (Americans will pay)

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access 2 ALL Americans finan/pers recs

PG 203 Line 14-15 HC - "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that

Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician svcs 4 Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors, doesnt matter what specialty u have, you'll all be paid the same

PG 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr's time, prof judg, etc. Literally value of humans.

PG 265 Sec 1131Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries

PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs

PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!

Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals 4 what Govt deems preventable readmissions.

Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admiss that results in a readmiss-Govt will penalize u.

Pg 317 L 13-20 OMG!! PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand

pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have oppt to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can u say ACORN?!!

Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 - Govt mandates estab. of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing

Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority 2 disqual Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing peeps in2 Govt plan

Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs ppl! WTF. My sis has down syndrome!!

Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Cmtte. Can u say HC by phone?

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides apprvd list of end of life resources, guiding u in death

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program 4 orders 4 end of life. The Govt has a say in how ur life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "adv. care planning consult" will b used frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12 "adv. care consultation" may incl an ORDER 4 end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment u will have at end of life

Pg 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?

Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment 2 a community-based org. Like ACORN?

PG 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt in2 ur marriage

Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Svcs including defining, creating, rationing those svcs

Comment #35 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 21, 2009 9:13 PM

FRATTING LIKE IT'S MY JOB

Myth #1 Health Care Costs are Soaring - I think Asness' first argument was that:
- the price of health care rises as the quality of health care rises
- the quality of health care has risen, therefore
-- the price of health care has risen.

Substitute telecommunications for health care. Is it always the case that as the quality of a good or service rises its price must rise as well? If not, why is that the case for health care? He may be right, but he gives me no reason to believe he is. If the government can create 150 million new customers for a drug company, might that not change the company's business case for developing certain drugs? If that was the case, would this effectively counter both of Asness' utlitarian arguments in #1 and #2 below? I think so.


Myth #2 - Canadian Drug Story
For Asnes's argument countering this myth to be persuasive it seems to me the following would have to true:
- only US pharma is developing the new and important drugs Canada supplies to its tax payers, and no non-US pharma companies could,
- US drug companies would stop producing new and important drugs if the price at which they could sell those drugs is set too low.

I think the second point is true. But what is "too low"? Could the state buy for its state-monopoly at a price that is lower than what it is today, but still at a price where it is profitable for companies to produce new drugs? I think so. I think Asness assumes that companies would still produce at the lower price in the bigger market later in his piece when he notes that crony-capitalists (Wal-mart) are lining up to be the state's suppliers.

Admittedly, the monopoly price (the lower but not too low price) may require the Canadians to pay more for their drugs. But they'll do it happily to keep their high quality universal minimum standard health care.

Myth 3 - Socialized Medicine Works in Some Places
This is really a variant of Myth 2, and supposes that the world is free-loading off of the US medical industry. Asness' argument under Myth 3 has the same potential weaknesses as his argument under Myth 2, and since he does not provide any evidence to support him, these weaknesses seem substantial to me.

I agree that wait times for routine exams and procedures that could save a patient's life are far too long in Canada, and people die and suffer because this. There should be two tiered system ((1) state-run and (2) private) that does not sacrifice (too much) the quality of the state-run system. There was a fairly recent Supreme Court of Canada decision that held a prohibition against private health insurance was a violation of s. 7 (life, liberty and security of the person) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General), 2005 SCC 35). The case sets out some of the basic issues faced by Americans in their current debate:

"Given the prohibition, most Quebeckers have no choice but to accept any delays in the public health regime and the consequences this entails. [104-111] [119]"

"The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care. The evidence also demonstrates that the prohibition against private health insurance and its consequence of denying people vital health care result in physical and psychological suffering that meets a threshold test of seriousness. [112] [123]"

"Where lack of timely health care can result in death, the s. 7 protection of life is engaged; where it can result in serious psychological and physical suffering, the s. 7 protection of security of the person is triggered. In this case, the government has prohibited private health insurance that would permit ordinary Quebeckers to access private health care while failing to deliver health care in a reasonable manner, thereby increasing the risk of complications and death. In so doing, it has interfered with the interests protected by s. 7 of the Canadian Charter. [123-124]"

The case did not stand for the proposition that high-level state-subsidized health care was unconstitutional, it stood for the proposition that a prohibition against private health insurance (along side public) was unconstitutional.

Myth 4 - Public and Private Options Can Coexist
Asness actually doesn't argue that they cannot coexist - his discussion of private and public school systems makes it clear that these types of public and private arrangements can exist...because they do. He just argues that he thinks healthcare would be better if it stayed solely private. The question is....better for who? (presumably he would answer by pointing to Myths 1 and 2 - no one benefits because healthcare innovation and delivery becomes moribund in a state where there is a single or two tiered system - evidence?).

Myth 5 - Avoid health care rationing.
I think he's right on this one. Not everyone will get care, the government will choose winners and losers. Right now, the rich are winners, the poor are losers. If the government chooses, it will not be by politicians trying to get elected, but mostly by civil servants, hospital managers, doctors (perhaps lazy, perhaps distracted), but it will not be decided by insurers interested in making profits.

Myth 6 - Health care (universal minimum standard) is a right
I agree it isn't a right. The opportunity to seek health care is a right (see Chaoulli under Myth 3 above). But it is good policy for economic, political, and ethical reasons.

Last paragraphs of sillyness
- the democrats, have been elected many times without promising, or having any real chance of passing a universal health care bill. Health care has not been the key to their political power, when they have had it. It is not a Communist plot. Many many decent people in the mainstream really believe that it is the right thing to do - just like social security, just like public education.


Comment #36 - Posted by: Prole at July 21, 2009 9:21 PM

Prole,

That was a pretty good post. I'll have more thoughts tomorrow. After some rest.

Comment #37 - Posted by: jakers at July 21, 2009 9:45 PM

A few points of clarification on the video. All the judges were L1 certified. We didn't pick random people from the crowd at all. Fortunately, we had many qualified and certified trainers in attendance who were willing to help out. The judging was spectacular overall. In a 3-day event with almost 750 different competitors, I heard of only one formal complaint about unfair judging.

All the athletes were able to provide urine for the test, eventually. The comment in the video was accurate. The dehydration made it difficult. Several had to chug some water and come back an hour later before they were able to produce.

Comment #38 - Posted by: Tony Budding at July 21, 2009 10:17 PM

I have a good way to cut health care costs for everyone!

1. Eat your vegetables

2. Do your deadlifts.

Comment #39 - Posted by: Dominic at July 21, 2009 11:17 PM

great article from Cliff if hastily written.

sadly we live in a country of fools brainwashed by three or more generations of communist indoctrination in school. 21st century men and women don't have the intellectual capacity to deconstruct this "debate" which is really just a seize for control of our lives.

why stop at healthcare? surely Universal Crossfit is a right that would be well administered by a US Crosstroller General?

Comment #40 - Posted by: rs at July 21, 2009 11:37 PM

---FRAT---

Today was a good day for CrossFit. I am a US Army paratrooper and NCO stationed in Germany. About one month ago I was told that I was going to a CrossFit seminar. I knew little about CrossFit except that I had seen a bunch of guys in another company doing it. The sentiment around my company was that those guys were crazy and none of us wanted anything to do with CrossFit. Of coarse that was until I attended my level one cert. I hadn't even been on the website prior to the cert but the information that was provided by Pat Sherwood and Lisa Ray instantly turned me into a CrossFiter for life. Since the cert I have spent alot of time in the journal trying to learn as much as possible so I could properly introduce CrossFit to my company in a way that it would help the soldiers and leadership buy into the program. Today was that day and after about 45 minutes of lecture and teaching movements we did CrossFit Baseline for the wod and just to seal the deal and help teach the movement we did tabata air squats. When we were finished not one soldier had something negative to say and the the soldiers in my platoon that hate doing military PT the most actually really injoyed themselves doing CrossFit. with the 12 minutes of actual working out we did even the leadership was impressed. Hopefully with determination on my part I can actually get it incorperated into our PT program. Atleast I will create a couple more CrossFiters in the process. Thank you Pat Sherwood, Lisa Ray, and the 2 other trainers at my cert. Most importantly thank you Greg Glassman and thank you CrossFit

Comment #41 - Posted by: bryar25/70"/200 at July 21, 2009 11:37 PM

Prole: Outstanding post in its scope and insights. Thanks. I am a physician and have, for the duration of my professional career, been frustrated that our country, pre-eminent in its wealth and technology, can't provide sufficient health care to all of its populace. The failings of the US health care system is multifaceted and anyone who tries to point to one cause ("it's the insurance companies", "it's the pharmaceutical industry", etc) speaks only from ignorance and should be disregarded.

Our current system does not even remotely resemble a "free market" sytem. The providers know little or nothing of the cost of the services they provide. The recipients have little ability to distinguish necessary from unnecessary "services" and usually only find out about the cost of these services after they have been provided. Crappy care is reimbursed at the same (or even higher) rate as excellent care. The payors get to dictate how much they will pay for the services. I could go on for a lot longer about the absurdities of our current health economics.

What no one seems to discuss in any frank manner is the role the doctors play in this soon-to-be untenable situation. As long as doctors and other providers are rewarded for doing more - more tests, more procedures, more medications, more visits - our health care will remain excessive, expensive and dangerous. We need to develop effective mechanisms to distinguish valuable and effective care (e.g. attentive care for diabetes) from dangerous medicine (e.g. unnecessary elective surgeries) or marginally effective and highly expensive care (e.g. the promotion of statin medications for basically all of the adult population).

And of course (preaching to the choir here) the population in general is culpable in this mess. Promotion of healthy lifestyle needs to be undertaken on a community level. It is terribly ineffective and expensive for me to counsel obese patients about diet and exercise in a one on one setting of a office visit.

Just my two cents.

Dave

Comment #42 - Posted by: David Simonds at July 22, 2009 12:01 AM

I've got one thing to point out.

If Asness can make this statement with a straight face, "I do not take on the harder task of proscribing how we should (and if we should) reform health care." then I can't imagine how he could have the nerve to flame with that kind of heat.

Seriously—"...if we SHOULD reform health care????" Oops, I think I just wet myself a little laughing so hard.

Comment #43 - Posted by: Tom DeCuir at July 22, 2009 12:21 AM

I always feel lazy on rest days, but I think my legs needed this one.. Relaxin' tomorrow!

Comment #44 - Posted by: Adam at July 22, 2009 12:30 AM

Firstly, love Crossfit and have been doing for over a year. Secondly, why is the corporate site posting a link to a clearly biased and partisan article (no wait, its not even that, its a BLOG) with little to no evidence to support its claims and is written in such a juvenile manner that is makes it unlikely that any intelligent person can take it seriously? OK, I understand that since we are Crossfitters and we really care about health then it was probably posted to begin conversation about reforming health care and we, for the most part, are doing just that. However, if you wanted to do that, corporate, then I suggest that you post an article with at least SOME journalistic merit and some facts. This current stuff degrades what this awesome site is really trying to do. Again, just to be sure, I am not for/against health care reform, I am against this article, correction: BLOG, and its place on this website.

Comment #45 - Posted by: Tony Nguyen at July 22, 2009 1:06 AM

#44--
Check the history of the rest days and most every article is polarizing in some way.
Check the comments carefully and you'll even see your comment nearly verbatim every time.
It's been this way for a while and shows no signs of changing.

Comment #46 - Posted by: Ruiner_SSgt_USAF at July 22, 2009 1:42 AM

Does Crossfit give you swine flu?

So I started Crossfit on friday (horray!) never heard of a muscleup so did 120 pullups and 120 dips, 25mins, (assisted) my arms died but I felt good...until sunday when I got SWINE FLU (boo!)

feeling a bit better now...should start again next week when I'm better. Lets hope it doesn't give me it again.

Comment #47 - Posted by: Mr Pete at July 22, 2009 2:18 AM

the article: BEST thing I have read in a long time. Love this guy!!!!!!!!!!

Comment #48 - Posted by: runnerfirst at July 22, 2009 2:36 AM

I really love this site, but unfortunately, it gets downgraded several notches today with the posting of this knee-jerk political nonesense that holds no water. Come on CrossFit- don't be duped by this garbage. I do however take great heart in all my fellow CrossFitters who have bucked at the posting of this blog.
kjs

Comment #49 - Posted by: KJS at July 22, 2009 2:43 AM

Dominic #39: second best thing I have read! Right ON!!!!!!!!

Comment #50 - Posted by: runnerfirst at July 22, 2009 3:11 AM

I will be busy for the next couple of days (believe it or not, I am a productively employed citizen, who just happens to type REALLY fast), but wanted to make a quick, tangential point.

John Stuart Mill, in his seminal essay "On Liberty", talked about the value of eccentricity, and its role in the actual cultivation of, and expression of freedom.

What we want, in a free society, is not a bunch of mindless conformists. We want to nurture, and to value, ideological diversity of opinion on ALL topics, large and small.

It is precisely the FLAW with Scientism and Leftism (and to be sure, to a lesser degree all parts of the ideological and other spectrums) that they fail to value such diversity. "Diversity" as a code word means PRECISELY ideological conformity to a very high degree.

This is why many of us collectively heave a sigh of relief to see the curmudgeons and others speaking their minds openly, without much concern for the proprieties with which we have all been inbred.


This is why Rip is so popular, and is one of the more endearing traits of Coach. That, also, is why this article looks interesting to me.

Conformity: Black or Communistic Fascism.

Eccentricity: freedom.

Comment #51 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:05 AM

No time to read the rest: looks like there's already a lot. I have posted my own take on this multiple times, and any response that doesn't address Catastrophic Coverage and price rationalization will be a non-starter once I get down to it.

Comment #52 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:07 AM

Another bullsh*t article by a author with no insights.

So private insurance are free? Don´t think so. So why is the private system better? Becuase you are CHEAP and SELFISH and don´t care about other people.
"Socialist system". Everything you dislike is "socialist", from economy to health, I guess bad music is "socialist". I doubt you know the orgin or meaning of that word. Eat my shorts.

Comment #53 - Posted by: Peter at July 22, 2009 4:09 AM

Since people are tossing out anecdotes on health care, here are a couple:

I was buying my own health insurance on COBRA (or its equivalent) as a state employee of a certain stripe for five years. It went from $180 to $430 per month in that time. I was making less than $40k, was single, healthy, young, went to the doctor about once a year. I was amazed that my lone doctor appointment cost me $4000+ dollars -- and a $20 co-pay. My insurance did not cover prescriptions. The same insurance now goes $580 per month (I know because I have friends still on it).

Now I pay $20/month or so -- but I have no illusions about it being cheap. My employer is still paying the rest of that cost. Health insurance costs are a huge, huge burden to employers. I think that the people who would benefit most from some kind of semi-nationalized health care are small businesses and entrepreneurs, who could devote more resources to hiring people or developing ideas, rather than paying $500+ per month per employee on health insurance.

My insurance is supposed to be pretty good -- lots of options, etc. I tried to make an appointment with a dermatologist last month. Earliest opening is November. So the notion that seeing a specialist in the US is easy or timely is frankly just wrong. I sure hope I don't have skin cancer.

Looking across developed (and even many poorly developed) countries, US health care typically costs about twice as much or more, and performs as well to a lot worse, depending on what category you look at. We're paying twice as much to get a lot less back. Something really has to give, and it should have given decades ago.

Comment #54 - Posted by: felipe at July 22, 2009 4:11 AM

it's pretty easy.....less health care....more health. veggies and deadlifts not a bad start.

Comment #55 - Posted by: patrick at July 22, 2009 4:48 AM

I hate to digress from the health care debate but we are having a debate in the gym. Who does more work a guy who is 5'8" 150 lbs. or one who is 6'1" 190 lbs.?

Comment #56 - Posted by: Mark in Milwaukee at July 22, 2009 5:11 AM

Quick question I can't seem to find an answer to...With the crossfit WOD's should I struggle using higher weights, or less assist, and have a slow embarassing time or should I drop the weight and aim for the times in the comments trying to build up weight? For instance yesterday I did the 3 weighted PU, 5 strict, 7 kipping workout and I did 7 rounds in 39 minutes before I ran out of time. I didn't use any assist and progressed from 3 rounds @ 35# to 2 rounds at #25 and 2 rounds at 15#.

What is the general consensus..aim for time and build weight or try rx'd weight with a lousy time?

Comment #57 - Posted by: AMERICUS at July 22, 2009 5:33 AM

My thoughts on health care are this: Why am I paying the same for health insurance at work as the people who go outside and take smoke breaks every 30 minutes? Why am I paying the same as 300 pound people who get winded walking to the water fountain? We need some form of a sliding scale here so those of us who work hard for our health aren't paying for those who don't.

to #55: The accepted definition of work is Force moving through a distance, so assuming that the two guys were using the same weight, then the 6'1 guy would be doing more work. For example, if they both deadlifted 300 pounds then the 6'1 guy has to move the same weight a greater distance upward.

Comment #58 - Posted by: Matt 23/m/185 at July 22, 2009 5:52 AM

Mark in Milwaukee #55- That's easy. The one who does crossfit. :)

Comment #59 - Posted by: JayBear 5'9 180 at July 22, 2009 6:11 AM

Joe at July 21, 2009 6:51 PM

"I don't like what I read, I think it's stupid, though I won't bother making my own case, I'll just make allusions to supposedly effective counter-arguments, and if you disagree with me I think you're stupid, too."

I can almost imagine you sticking your tongue out like a spoiled child while typing.

Comment #60 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 6:17 AM

When I saw DL for 1RM I decided that if I broke 300 I would post here for the first time. I lifted 330 which is 2X bodyweight for me. I tried telling people around me how excited I am about this, but nobody cares. I've been following the WODs and eating a strict zone diet for several months now and the results are nothing short of amazing. I can't seem to find anyone around me doing this so I get a ton of motivation from the site and message board. Thanks to everyone who posts, if nothing else it's a good, swift kick in the ass for me.

Comment #61 - Posted by: Adam 33/m/165 at July 22, 2009 6:18 AM

Can someone tell me who the oldest guy was who competed in the games? I know he was 42. . .just can't find him on site.

Thanks

Comment #62 - Posted by: Tim Carr at July 22, 2009 6:49 AM

24 hours!

Comment #63 - Posted by: Jason Young at July 22, 2009 7:03 AM

#60 - Adam:
Way to go! 2X bodyweight is a huge achievement!

Comment #64 - Posted by: John 39/m/240 at July 22, 2009 7:06 AM

Nathan Kemp at July 21, 2009 9:02 PM

I found your argument interesting but not wholly convincing, since it didn't refute a single point made by the author of the article. Could you elaborate, please?

Comment #65 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 7:25 AM

Disclaimer: I am from Canada - but this isn't really a pro or con Canada post.

The health care system in Canada and I suspect in the US is overburdened with 'patients' who expect that someone else is responsible for their health. e.g. My brother is an MD. One of his main complaints in his clinic is that he spends more time 'placating the healthy' than healing the sick. What he means by that is that many people go to their doctor when they are not sick, but who want a pill to take away symptom X - which is really just symptomatic of an unhealthy lifestyle which they are unwilling to change.

Research seed: What is the combined "Health care" and "Fitness care" costs of Crossfitters over a lifetime? It would be an interesting study and challenge to Coach Glassman's 'Health' 3D graph/model of fitness vs. time (time dimension is lifetime of an 'athlete') Does anyone know of any studies being done along these lines? Can Crossfit 'sponsor' such a study without losing impartiality?

The real question is: As we increase the number of Crossfitters in our world, how are our health care costs affected?

On a strictly non-scientific basis (using a very subjective population of 1 - me) my contention is that I will stay out of the health care system for longer than if I didn't follow the Crossfit/MVNSSFLSNS exercise/diet protocol. I am grateful for the information and insight from Crossfit as I am confident it has changed my life for the better and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Thank you.

Yay Burpees!

Comment #66 - Posted by: Conrad at July 22, 2009 7:26 AM

(quickly as I wait for my 10:30 to show up, so pardon spelling)

#22 Chris
you are correct that would help, i missed that point last night. The other nice side effect of being able to purchase across state lines is that it would require a singular license to sell insurance in all 50 states.

#24 Brenden
The plan is mostly a product of my mind, although i'm sure someone else has influenced the ideas. I have a high deductible plan, that I pay for in after tax dollars and an HSA that is pre-tax. I keep about the amount of 2 deductibles in my HSA no real science to it.

Comment #67 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 7:26 AM

The forces opposing a market-based healthcare solution work in tandem with each other, either by chance or by design. People in this thread have already posted what I think are the three key levers of a good solution:

1. Broad catastrophic coverage
2. Tort reform
3. Allowance of interstate insurance coverage

The lack of these three factors probably drives a the second greatest amount of healthcare cost inflation behind the development of new treatments: Lack of coverage for excessive-cost cases (tragedies, end-of-life care) causes providers to subsidize costs through higher charges elsewhere; malpractice cases cause higher rates and excessive defensive medicine; artificial barriers to larger, interstate competitors reduce risk pools and raise premiums.

Those favoring a universal public solution constantly point to the rising cost of healthcare as the failure of a market-based system, but these are the same folks who have blocked changes to 1., 2., and 3. and thus are the very architects of the "failure" they cite in their cause.

Comment #68 - Posted by: Chas at July 22, 2009 7:30 AM

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/22/arrogance_97561.html

Comment #69 - Posted by: chris at July 22, 2009 7:37 AM

I didn't find the article the least bit insightful and would like to recommend a much better article on the same topic for comment:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/magazine/19healthcare-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&em

Comment #70 - Posted by: KSW at July 22, 2009 7:47 AM

Health Care Article. Just as he states in the beginning he doesn't

"I do not take on the harder task of proscribing how we should (and if we should) reform health care. Important work must be done here by those who understand, far better than I, the details of health care provision. However, no details are necessary for this essay, and no animals (though perhaps some egos) were harmed in its creation"

Anyone who starts an article with no details are necessary has invalidated the entire article. In addition, this guy is an angry ignorant person. People like him are exactly what is wrong with this country. Stop hating people. Right wing/left wing it doesn't matter. Wake up.

Comment #71 - Posted by: Justin at July 22, 2009 7:50 AM

AMERICUS - in general I think you should try to determine the goal of the WOD and scale in such a way that you can meet that goal.

So if you are going to failure and have to keep stopping to breathe during a metcon type workout then you should lower the weight to allow you to complete the WOD with the proper intensity.

There are lots of 1, 3 and 5 rep max lifting type workouts that can improve your ability to move heavy objects so focus on making those WODs as heavy as possible.

Comment #72 - Posted by: KSW at July 22, 2009 7:54 AM

Prole at July 21, 2009 9:21 PM

Myth 1: I believe that Agness is stating the people are making apples/oranges comparisons. That the cost of a 1950’s level of health care is lower, adjusted for inflation, today than it was in the ‘50’s, and that the “rising cost” of health care is actually the cost of a level of care which did not exist back then, and therefore cannot have risen. To use your telecommunications analogy, it’s like saying we are paying way more for a satellite dish now than we would have for a land line in the ‘50’s. Well… yeah.

Myth 2 and 3: I think his statements would still ring true if the U.S. were producing the majority of new advances in drugs and procedures and equipment. I don’t know if it is, I have no statistics and my lunch break isn’t all that long, but if you take the biggest producer and turn it into nothing more than a consumer…

As for restricting access to private insurance or not, it hardly seems to me that it matters what people are “allowed” to do with their own money when so many people truly believe that they have a right to other people’s money, just because they really, really don’t want to pay for their own care, or insurance, or food, or clothing, etc. Those of us who won’t take government money (when we can help it, without going to jail) are in the minority, and will be voted out of our cash no matter what any nation’s constitution says.

Myth 4: The public school system IS his evidence. Having been schooled publicly, I find the argument convincing.

Myth 5: I hadn’t thought of this consciously before. I understood it instinctively (if health care were in a state of unlimited supply, it would be as cheap as air and we wouldn’t be having this discussion), but had never heard it articulated. It IS silly for either “side” to argue; the supply is limited and rationing will happen. You can’t feed 100 people with a dozen fried chickens, and have everyone eat his fill. There just isn’t enough health care available for everyone to have all he wants. Some of the reason for this in the U.S. is that the government has given the A.M.A. a monopoly on licensing doctors, and they keep the supply low, allegedly to keep the quality high. The same thing is NOT done with veterinarians, which is why my town has one doctor and four vets, and my cat costs less in medical care than I do even though he goes every year and I don’t. I don’t have animal medical insurance, I don’t need it. Care is cheaper because there is more of it. Additionally, part of the problem is just life. There isn’t an unlimited supply of anything, with the possible exception of people who will read half of this post and tell me how stupid I am without refuting any single thing I say.

Myth 6: I agree with your first statement, and if my interpretation is correct, I agree with the second. But I don’t understand what you mean by, “But it is good policy for economic, political, and ethical reasons.” Please explain further.

Last paragraph: I disagree with you here. Anyone who looks at the issues without assuming that their assumptions are holy can see that “universal” health care would be anything but, that the poor would suffer terribly while the rich or politically connected (who, under a socialist system, tend to be the same people) will receive the best care around. Obviously the purpose behind MOST politicians support of some level of government intervention in health care is NOT helping people, it is about control.

Comment #73 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 7:59 AM

David Simonds at July 22, 2009 12:01 AM

Thank you for posting. I've heard all of that said before, and I agree, but I suspect it will carry more weight for a lot of people, coming from a physician.

Comment #74 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 8:03 AM

The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, $7,129 per capita. Yet our system performs poorly in comparison and still leaves 45.7 million without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

This is because private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

http://www.pnhp.org/

Comment #75 - Posted by: jesse at July 22, 2009 8:03 AM

Prole, posted a reply to you but it got held. Keep them peepers open for it.

Comment #76 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 8:04 AM

Tony Nguyen at July 22, 2009 1:06 AM


"I suggest that you post an article with at least SOME journalistic merit and some facts."

Please do. I will read it.

Comment #77 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 8:11 AM

I'm taking this rest day. I have been in a perpetual state of stiffness since I started following this program aprox 2 weeks ago.

Comment #78 - Posted by: BigD at July 22, 2009 8:16 AM

felipe at July 22, 2009 4:11 AM

The question is: Where would the money come from?

From taxes.

Taxes on whom?

The rich.

The rich don't make enough, even taxed at 100%, to supply health care for the entire nation. And tax them enough, and they will see to it that they don't make enough in a year to be "rich". What now?

Taxation will work it's way down the chain until "small" businesses are hit, and hard. I agree that medical coverage is hard on an employer. The solution is NOT more medical coverage. The solution, for most healthy people, is LESS. Catastrophic coverage.

Comment #79 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 8:18 AM

felipe at July 22, 2009 4:11 AM

P.S. Try a different dermatologist. That's the difference, that you allowed to do that. It's called freedom, and they have less of it in nations with socialized medicine.

Comment #80 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 8:20 AM

Myth #7 Health Care is A Right

Ron Paul wrote an article to this effect last week.
http://www.house.gov/htbin/blog_inc?BLOG,tx14_paul,blog,999,All,Item%20not%20found,ID=090720_3044,TEMPLATE=postingdetail.shtml

Comment #81 - Posted by: Valery P. F/25/115/5'3" at July 22, 2009 8:27 AM

KSW

Thanks for suggesting that article. Perceptive, thought-provoking.

Chris 68

Read your suggested article too. I'll agree that Obama and the Democrats are likely pushing too hard and too fast on this in the hope that they can get it through before things fall apart for them. Messy. Not the best circumstance in which to develop policy.

I think the point is though, that the US market has failed with respect to US healthcare. You pay more for less in the US than in other countries. It is causing more bankruptcies, making your business uncompetitive, and exacerbating inequalities.

I might agree with Chas, but modify his suggestion thus:

1. (not Broad catastrophic but) Broad Standard coverage (we can fight about what is included in "standard" later,, issue by issue, as we do about taxes, trade agreements, environmental controls etc)
2. Tort reform
3. Allowance of interstate insurance coverage

Comment #82 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 8:31 AM

AMERICUS at July 22, 2009 5:33 AM

A question for you. Do you have good metcon, but are weak, or are you strong with poor metcon? In other words, what needs the most improvement? Focus on that.

For me, I need metcon. I have a 900# CrossFit Total and 11 rounds of Cindy. I need metcon, badly.

Comment #83 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 8:34 AM

An anti-health care reform piece by a businessman who doesn't believe in government oversight. Jesus this crap is getting old.

Comment #84 - Posted by: BradyB at July 22, 2009 8:42 AM

Tony Budding,

Thanks for the the clarification.

Comment #85 - Posted by: soccerman/23/6'/182 at July 22, 2009 8:51 AM

Goat,

Will do.

I'm still wondering what Kemp was doing gambling (cards? dice?) in the middle of his street (must be a suburbanite).

Comment #86 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 8:51 AM

Comment #70 - Posted by: Justin at July 22, 2009 7:50 AM

First you say, "In addition, this guy is an angry ignorant person. People like him are exactly what is wrong with this country."

Then you say, "Stop hating people." Irony?

Now that you've bashed the author AND made me giggle, would you care to comment on the points raised in the article?

Comment #87 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 9:09 AM

BradyB at July 22, 2009 8:42 AM

An excellent point you didn't make.

Comment #88 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 9:10 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 8:31 AM

I would argue against the mandating of any kind of health coverage, because:

1: It's immoral to force someone to pay for a service he doesn't want.

2: It will raise the cost of whatever is considered the minimum, so that those who actually want it will pay more. Note that this happens already, with auto insurance. The basic mandated coverage costs much more (amount of cost per amount of coverage) than the additional, "comprehensive" coverage, because the insurance companies a: have a captive audience, anyone who wants to drive must buy, and b: they are forced to insure drivers they otherwise may not (not true in all States, but...)

3: For someone like me, anything other than catastrophic coverage is a bad buy. I, and other healthy people, lose, so that other may gain, all done at gunpoint.

Comment #89 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 9:16 AM

If Americans would read the Zone Toxic Fat book and at least adopt the habit of taking adequate amounts of DHAs/EPAs and follow one Zone-balanced meal a day, I think we'd see a significant drop in health costs.

Comment #90 - Posted by: Sabs at July 22, 2009 9:31 AM

hi ppl,

i just took a rest last week cus both of my shoulders just died, i couldnt even do my hair to get to work!!!!! was really tough. today im just gonna start again, i hope nothing comes up, well done ppl from the cg09!!!! c u around.

Comment #91 - Posted by: alex_manguito, ec/m/32 at July 22, 2009 9:35 AM

felipe at July 22, 2009 4:11 AM

Nevermind what I said earlier, the downhill roll was already worked into the plan. Things aren't looking good for those small businesses you mentioned.

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/health/policy/18health.html?_r=1&hp

'On Capitol Hill, the picture is more complex. Representative Jared Polis, a freshman Democrat from Colorado who voted against the bill approved Friday in the Education and Labor Committee, said he worried that the new taxes “could cost jobs in a recession.” [Goat note: It would cost jobs at any time, Congress just cares less when business is booming}

To help finance coverage of the uninsured, the House bill would impose a surtax on high-income people and a payroll tax — as much as 8 percent of wages — on employers who do not provide health insurance to workers.

Mr. Polis said these taxes, combined with the scheduled increase in tax rates resulting from the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, would have a perverse effect. “Some successful family-owned businesses would be taxed at higher rates than multinational corporations,” he said.'

Comment #92 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 9:39 AM

I'm very happy to note that the Industrial Engineering department at Penn State University is taking an unbiased look at the processes of health care and reducing total cost by removing non value added time and efforts from the system.

The problem is that the system is bloated and full of inefficiencies that allow it to carry parasites (most are lawyers, politicians, and insurance practitioners) that go unnoticed by the incremental cost structure. i.e. Charge 1 million people 1 extra dollar per visit and we can fund that political rally, defend a frivolous lawsuit, etc...

the article was little more than a rant. While I agree with many of the points, I do not agree that free market forces can purposely contain health care. Bernie Madoff should have showed us all that regulation is necessary when this much money is at stake. parasites exists on many levels and similar to nature most are inside the system. The free market is controlled best by information and many people are just not capable in knowing their options or what is necessary. they just know that something hurts, or they feel sick, and that they are paying this person to make them better.

if it were my problem to solve, my first task would be to address the broken process, give accountability to those responsible (legal and financial). Lawyers who pursue frivolous lawsuits will be barred from practice. Doctors who provide poor care and screw up (ie amputate wrong limb, leave surgical instruments in a patient, etc) would lose a portion of their livelihood (currently through malpractice insurance, but this system too is broken) It pains me to say that the most cost effective system was the community doctor system of the 1950's. it however was not the best overall care. The country doctor who birthed and cared for generations of children was rarely the wealthiest in the community but he had their best interests at heart. The secret to success is to blend the two, doctors who actually care for their patients to proscribe the right level of care with a support system that has access to the latest breakthroughs at a manageable profit level. Now where is my Nobel Prize?

Comment #93 - Posted by: Eric at July 22, 2009 9:59 AM

Prole,

I fear you and I may agree on something, that is we agree with Chas.

As for figuring out what minimum coverage needs to be I suggest using a morbidity table like they do for disability insurance coverage. The higher your risk, the more coverage you need or the more the minimum maintenance balance for your HSA needs to be.

I think I have a fairly good way to see to it that the healthy individual does not have to pay for the unhealthy individual.

Also there really should be a provision that makes all insurance portable (this is far simpler in an after tax environment).

Lets say person A has an insurance plan that costs $500 a month. Lets also say that that person's employer (ABC Corp) provides $500 a month for health insurance. That person is covered in full.

Now lets suppose person A leaves ABC for XYZ, but XYZ only provides $300 a month for health insurance. Person A would have the choice to keep his old plan and pay for the difference out of pocket. Or to join the new plan at $300 a month.

The same would hold true of person A were to go to PDQ Corp, where they provide a plan with $1000 a month insurance. Person A could keep the $500 a month plan and receive an extra $500 a month cash, or could join the PDQ corp's $1000 a month plan.

Since all of this in in after tax dollars, the source of the funds becomes irrelevant as long as the minimum coverage amount is met.

Also since all individuals are risk adjusted individually and coverage is fully portable there is no need for COBRA since the coverage is not necessarily linked to the risk weight of a certain group of individuals.

Comment #94 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 10:06 AM

Eric at July 22, 2009 9:59 AM

Interesting that you should mention Bernard Maddoff as a reason to regulate the health care industry. There was in fact regulation, the S.E.C. Fantastic job they did, despite being tipped off years before his scheme fell apart. Tipped by whom? The private sector.

All Bernie did was copy the governments Ponzi scheme, Social Security. Funny that you use this as an argument FOR regulation. Also funny that you hearken back to a much freer market in medicine for both the most cost-effective and humane care, and then recommend we move away from a free market. I am sure the Nobel Prize Committee is just waiting for you to pick it up from Paul Krugman.

Comment #95 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 10:11 AM

With respect to your 1st point we have thoroughly fleshed out our philosphical differences before, see 090616. I know you are consistent on this point.

So with respect to your second point, I'm thinking of the Canadian system, in which there is not a single insurance company monopoly that has a captive audience, but a public system run by civil servants who take orders from elected representatives who can be voted out of office if the electorate thinks other representatives can run a system that provides more for less.

Your third point may be too close to the philosophical position expressed in your first for me to say anything to you that I have not said previously. The money you provide to the state for other people's health care today (and your own tomorrow) is not stolen from you. You provide it in accordance with laws enacted by legitimately elected representatives.

You were born into a republican democracy. I think your beef is with the legislative branch. Perhaps you would like the form of government in the US to consist of (1) a Constitution, (2) an executive and (3) a court (without (4) a legislature). The domestic relations of this nation would function like Newton's clockwork universe, although instead of being set in motion by God and left alone to run on gravity, it would set in motion by the Founders and left alone to alone to run accourding to the sole principle of contract formation. This domestic universe would have no room for that other animating principle, that of citizen-based political particpation.

You could argue solidly that it is bad policy, for the state to tax you to pay for another's health care, and that it is inefficient and puts an unfair burden on you. But I don't think you have much ground to stand on when you argue that taxing you for that purpose through legitimately enacted laws is a matter of theft. It is not theft, it is perhaps, a policy cataclysm for the people of the United States, but it is not theft.

Comment #96 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 10:13 AM

94 was to Goat.

Comment #97 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 10:14 AM

Great video! The Games were amazing, can't wait until next year.

Man hugs to the FRAT!

Comment #98 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at July 22, 2009 10:15 AM

#87 Goat

A person should only be able to opt out of insurance if they can prove that they are self insured for their individual risk, and sign binding waiver that should that person's medical needs exceed their ability to self insure they will be held fully responsible for the costs of treatment without the protection of bankruptcy.

never risk something that you aren't prepared to lose

Comment #99 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 10:19 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 10:13 AM

I will leave it to my betters to refute your statement that forcing me to hand over my money on pain of imprisonment is not theft. Despite the fact that the assertion is ridiculous on it's face, someone has taken the time to craft a thorough argument against it, and many other fallacies used to place "The State", or "Our Representatives", or "The People" in a deified state.

http://www.lysanderspooner.org/notreason.htm

Comment #100 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 10:23 AM

Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 10:19 AM

I consider a state of nature that we are each individually responsible for our own health care. Nobody needs to sign a waiver, any more than you should have to sign a waiver stating that you opt out of Meals On Wheels because you have insurance to cover the cost of your meals in the case of loss of employment, and you will be responsible for your starvation.

Simply put, my body is mine. I deserve, and it is my right to, all the costs and benefits of that ownership. This is true for all people, everywhere.

Comment #101 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 10:27 AM

yesterday's WOD

warm up 5 minute run
135x5 dead lift
225x5 dead lift

315
315
315
315
325
345 (barely) - not even close to PR, but i hate dead lifts so i'll take it.

Comment #102 - Posted by: Eric/m/209/6'3" at July 22, 2009 10:30 AM

Goat,

Philosophically we agree, unfortunately bankruptcy law allows people to get out of paying of unsecured debt. The waiver gets rid of that problem in this case.

Comment #103 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 10:33 AM

Re: Healthcare

The article had valid although poorly delivered and supported points.

Every economist knows that to decrease cost one needs to increase supply and/or decrease demand. In this political conundrum we will create the exact opposite set of forces. Not only do we increase the demand for healthcare by adding 50 million lives, but we will inevitably drive very capable US trained physicians, and particularly specialists, into early retirement or other professions. Trust me, they are already very frustrated with the beurocratic intervention that has emerged even in this "pseudo-free" healthcare market. The cost of healthcare will THEN "soar" due to an extreme physician shortage!! (or at least Physicians who were educated and trained in our system, and there is a difference)

We are forgetting the "engine" that drives this system, the healthcare professionals, and when we increase their workload to ridiculous amounts while decreasing the financial incentives and while maintaining the malpractice liabilities, I predict a MASSIVE walkout. God forbid.

My suggestion.......wake up people, you are about to enter a situation commonly called "LOSE-LOSE"

Comment #104 - Posted by: bkm at July 22, 2009 10:40 AM

Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 10:33 AM

That is true for all debt, no matter how it is incurred. The waiver would create a priviledged class of medical providers, and they no more deserve it than banks would if the same person defaulted on his car loan. They can repo the car, but they won't get full value. Should it then be law that bankruptcy won't diminish or erase the debt? If so, then why not for all debt? Why not do away with bankruptcy altogether? Hmmmm, not too bad an idea, methinks. Kinda old-fashioned, the idea that one should pay his debts, but I like it.

Now, if the providers themselves required a waiver, different story. Then consumers could choose to go to a provider who did, or one who didn't, but encoding it in law is wrong and illegal (illegal in the sense of a violation of natural law, not in the sense of "We were elected! Now we can write stuff down and vote and it becomes law, wheeee!!!).

Comment #105 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 10:43 AM

Mike, my reply was held. bad post day for the goat

Comment #106 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 10:43 AM

First of all the Health Care system needs to be tweaked. The cost is increasing much faster than inflation. Granted, we have a semi-universal coverage now. Guess who pays for all the uninsured...everyone that has insurance. I would like to hear more from those in the medical profession. They would have the best insight. Personally I don't want any government run insurance. Until I know of any great efficient run gov program I will stick with private insurance. The people that really will get hit in the shorts are those people who choose not have insurance that will be forced to pay for it in the future. Also, last week in the Wall Street Jrl there was a column regarding how the tax rates for many states (combined with Federal tax rates) will be more than European countries if the tax increases for health care goes into effect. Ouch!

Comment #107 - Posted by: trace at July 22, 2009 10:51 AM

trace at July 22, 2009 10:51 AM

Wait till they hit you with the national sales tax they are considering.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/26/AR2009052602909.html

Comment #108 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 10:54 AM

http://mises.org/story/3543

Comment #109 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 11:14 AM

Goat,

I'll give it a read. I noticed this nugget:

"There is, therefore, no alternative but to say, either that the separate, individual consent of every man, who is required to aid, in any way, in supporting the government, is necessary, or that the consent of no one is necessary."

Lysander seems to think that when the "committee of Revolutionists" in Philidelphia (supported by colonial legislatures) chose to revolt from Britain, they somehow did so with the consent of every separate individual in the revolting colonies. This is absurd. If he grants that it was legitimate for these legislatures and this "committee" to revolt on behalf of others (who had until then been colonists in the British empire) then he has given way on the crucial ground.

To hold that government action is legitimate only where it has the separate, individual, consent of every man [person], is untenable, and simply a supposition.

The truth is that in a society of more than several hunderd adults, consent achieved through representation is legitimate - where a few persons are selected by many persons to be their representative, so that the representative may consent on their behalf. That is if we want laws. If we don't, if we want to try our luck (or might) with anarchy, then we can go with individual consent, the result of which would be anarchy.

Constitutional representative democracy is the best we can do.

Like I said, I'll read it through.

Comment #110 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 11:20 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 11:20 AM

He is not saying that, read on.

If consent through representation by someone who is not my representative is legitimate, it gains it's legitimacy through force. It can only be legitimate if FORCING me to participate and follow the rules by the threat of violence is legitimate. Your basic point is "might makes right", and yet you put forth the government as if it is a benevolent force, helping the poor and the downtrodden. Make up your mind.

"Constitutional representative democracy is the best we can do." Dear God, I hope not. Of course, before Constitutional democracy, something else was "the best". Even if democracy is the best so far (which it isn't, limited republics are better, in my opinion), that wouldn't mean it's the best we CAN do.

Comment #111 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 11:28 AM


wouldn't it make more sense to attack the health care issue from the service side instead of the insurance side?

what if health care was like auto maintenance?

* office vists: $100
* xray: $25 per picture
* appendicitus: $3,000

etc.

i think a big problem in health care is that the person using the services has no idea what the real cost is, nor what the amount paid is. if there was a price list, i could compare doctors and hospitals and compare cost v. compentence, etc.

once i know the costs, i can estimate what i might need for insurance.

another peeve of mine is that what we call insurance in the medical industry is actually a prepaid system but it's great for hiding the actual costs.

-pta

Comment #112 - Posted by: pta at July 22, 2009 11:42 AM

What irks/worries me about the idea of “socialized medicine”?

“Treatment mandates”-think about what that will mean. You have “X” treatment is “Y”, period, no discussion. You have high cholesterol, mandatory statins. Diabetes? Insulin. Cancer? Chemo/radiation. No alternative medicine, no point in you doing internet searches or asking for extra tests.

No second opinions. It’s much easier, and let’s face it doctors like everyone else are lazy, to simply refer to a file than try to re-diagnose someone. Under “socialized medicine” there is no impetus to even try. Will a doctor even be allowed to try?

Who decides the “treatment mandates”? The same government that designed our food pyramid, the same one aiding the obesity epidemic with “low fat” garbage? It will be the lobbies, drug companies, special interests and elected/appointed/career civil servants trying to advance their position. Is it the same now? Somewhat, but currently freedom allows for you to decide for yourself. Imagine the craziness/payoffs to get a specific drug listed as “mandatory”.

What if you disagree and refuse the state mandated treatment for yourself or your child? Will the state come into your home and seize you or your child, as is already happening and under a government led medical system will happen more, because you are trying a treatment that is not state prescribed?

I currently have a choice of treatment for my child and myself. If I want vaccines spread out over a longer period of time I can get that. If I want to refuse radiating my thyroid because I’ve shown it can be treated by diet I should be able to. A state run medical system prevents/denies that.

“Socialized medicine” steps on so many true/natural rights it shouldn’t even be worth discussing.

Comment #113 - Posted by: penty at July 22, 2009 11:44 AM

Prole, "But I don't think you have much ground to stand on when you argue that taxing you for that purpose through legitimately enacted laws is a matter of theft."

So legitimate laws are ethical? How about Califorina State Govt changing the laws legitimaely to seize county monies to meet the state's budget issues?

Comment #114 - Posted by: penty at July 22, 2009 11:50 AM


Goat,

I'm interested in this thing called a "limited republic". What is it?

Comment #115 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 11:51 AM

pta at July 22, 2009 11:42 AM

This is all true, but it gets back to the problem of rationing. Many people's complaints stem from the fact that in a free market, rationing is accomplished by ability to pay. This seems horribly unfair. What they don't consider is that creating universal ability to pay does NOT get rid of the NEED to ration. It simply changes the rationing from economic to political factors. The other thing, more often considered, is that univeral ability to pay will bankrupt the nation, resulting in univeral inability to pay, eventually.


Comment #110 - Posted by: penty at July 22, 2009 11:44 AM

Good points, but most people would rather have your money than their rights.

Comment #116 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 11:51 AM

penty at July 22, 2009 11:50 AM

His point is that ANYTHING, no matter how damaging, evil, or ill-thought-out, is legitimate if done by someone elected by a majority of voters.

Comment #117 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 11:54 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 11:51 AM

This may help, as a starting point. Further research will show you arguments more pointed and detailed and over my head than I could find on a b.b. disussing long-range ballistics, but the basics are here.

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/AmericanIdeal/aspects/demrep.html

Comment #118 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 12:04 PM

#55

"I hate to digress from the health care debate but we are having a debate in the gym. Who does more work a guy who is 5'8" 150 lbs. or one who is 6'1" 190 lbs.?"

Simple physics. W=F*d, F=m*a => W=m*a*d. The answer to your question is thus ambiguous. I taller and more massive person may have a higher m and d in the equation but a smaller person may have more acceleration by enough to compensate.

As far as the article is concerned, I think it is just politically charged and has no basis. Healthcare in the U.S. is badly mismanaged where our current system provides too much health care to those insured and not enough on those that actually need it. I saw this first hand as my 55 year old mother suffered a stroke at the same my grandmother was dying of pneumonia. They were in the same hospital at the same time. My grandmother had medicaid and my mother was uninsured. My grandma recieved operation after operation and in my mind it was all done to bill medicaid as much as possible before she died. Whereas my mother after making sure that the bill would be unpayable to her was quickly discharged. As long as we paid on a daily basis the hospital would give us the compact rate (insurance rate) so my family stepped in and paid it, otherwise the bill would default to the uninsured rate. We paid them $30,000 by the time they released her at which point they jacked up the compact bill by an extra $80,000. We couldn't pay it, so the bill now defaults to the $360,000. That's a damn crappy system we have and is not free-market at all.

I'm all for free-market. Give everyone a shot a med-school instead of having a panel decide who gets to try and who doesn't. I'm sure prices would become much more competitive and there would be no need for government intervention.

Comment #119 - Posted by: rodrigo at July 22, 2009 12:11 PM

rodrigo at July 22, 2009 12:11 PM

Actually, I think his question is unanswerable, due to lack of information. He never specified a movement. If he says dumbbell curls at 55#, the guy with the longer arm does more work (and those of us with ape arms know that a taller body doesn't mean a longer arm, strictly).

Down with the A.M.A.!

Comment #120 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 12:17 PM

Comment #16 - Posted by: IOB

IOB, actually, there are no examples of countries that get better result with less money spent.

Comment #121 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 12:24 PM

I was going to reply to the article, but I decided on this reply first...

Goat - You are all over this subject. I will have to re-read the article, most posts, and all supporting articles to post my options. That may take a few days. I am having my FIRST BJJ session today. I think it will be very basic just learning movements, etc.

Comment #122 - Posted by: Corey Bibolet M/39/5'8"/160 at July 22, 2009 12:33 PM

pta

A better example of the car analogy and health care is expecting your car insurance to pay for your gas, oil change and getting your brakes done. That seems to be how most people look at health insurance.

Comment #123 - Posted by: jakers at July 22, 2009 12:34 PM

Corey Bibolet M/39/5'8"/160 at July 22, 2009

Awesome! I am a newly minted blue belt myself. It's a blast, and a pretty good way to keep from feeling lazy on a rest day. My only advice is this: It is more technical than it looks, so don't get frustrated by how long it takes to master the moves. Have fun.

Comment #124 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 12:38 PM

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203946904574300482236378974.html

Interesting read from the Louisiana Governor

Comment #125 - Posted by: trace at July 22, 2009 12:50 PM

did the dead lift WOD today.

315
335
350
360
365
370pr
375f

Comment #126 - Posted by: Yahny m/22/6'0/ 200 at July 22, 2009 12:58 PM

After a lot of prodding from a couple friends I started XFit yesterday. I haven't been strength training for about 9 months now (running, swimming and dieting only).

Yesterday: 325# for the DL
Today: doing the 5k w/ goal time of 27 min.

If anyone has experience w/ weightloss on XF I could use some help.

I currently weigh 285# and have lost 30# in the last 3 months using Weight Watchers. I am serious about doing XF and was wondering how to maximize my results while still following WW. Would appreciate input from anyone that has experience with or knowledge of both programs?

Comment #127 - Posted by: Slish at July 22, 2009 12:58 PM

Socialized Health Care is a horrible idea. Thank you, Coach & Lauren for posting this article.

Nobody has the right to hold me up at gunpoint, under the brute force of imprisonment for failure to pay taxes, for choosing not to provide another person's healthcare.

I do not ask any other person to pay for mine. Never have, never will.

Shame on the looters and beggars and theives who cloak themselves in a fraud of do-gooder benevolence and reach into the winners' pockets to fund the self-induced problems of the losers.

A gentleman I know poses this solution: family based healthcare. Like the CFRRG. Everyone in the family fronts the money together, and they draw out of the fund to cover extraordinary healthcare costs. A tribe takes care of itself. Healthy tribes pay a lot less. Sickos spend a lot on themselves.

Consider the familial and social pressure that would exert and the results that would bring? It would be in everyone's best interest to be healthy, strong & sober. Goodbye obesity and alcoholism. If you're paying for Uncle Ted's diabetes and liver transplant, you'd have a vested interest in getting him to put the fork and bottle down.

You reap what you sow. Poor health choices should result in the natural consequence of accelerated disease and death. Stealing from me (and the other people targeted by the current regime) to fund the treatments designed to alleviate a person's self-induced degeneration is immoral, and perpetuates a society of leaches.

Atlas Shrugged. Read it. Life is imitating art. Terrifying.

Comment #128 - Posted by: Spider Chick at July 22, 2009 1:26 PM

1st full up FRAN, floor to ground.

20:06

Need to segment Thrusters and pullups a bit more, next time.

Comment #129 - Posted by: Deano m/47/190/6' at July 22, 2009 1:34 PM

Comment #19 - Posted by: Mike Morgan

Mike, that's brilliant, there are not too many people who could so succinctly describe a comprehensive reformation of what is driving cost increases in our current system. Maybe none. Thanks.

One thought - with the reforms you describe, in which many optional tests and procedures would not be covered, and would therefore only be conducted if patients elected to pay for them, the costs of 'defensive medicine' might be significantly reduced; wish I had some way to estimate the numbers. Paul

Paul

Comment #130 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 1:36 PM

Comment #21 - Posted by: Tara

Tara, bravo! If insuring 40% of the population with medicare and medicaid has put our country into insolvency, even though much of the costs for those programs are subsidizes by those paying for private insurance, how can they even pretend to believe that a full blown publicly funded system would work?

Tennessee and Kentucky both tried 'the public option.' Here's one view of how TennCare worked out.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/22/tenncare_lessons_for_modern_health_care_reform_97570.html

Paul

Comment #131 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 1:54 PM

#125 That was awesome. Well said! Too many people are told that they "can't help" their problems when they so easily can.

Comment #132 - Posted by: Matt 23/m/185 at July 22, 2009 1:54 PM

I agree with the article. Here in Germany, we do currently have the public option competing with the private option. It's been this way for a while, and it's not working. The cost of the public health care has gone up immensely compared to the private options, while their service level has declined.

You actually get worse treatment if you have public health care in Germany. The clerk will take your card, and if you're public, you wait longer and get less service. If you're private, doctors love you. A doctor of mine said he wouldn't be able to run his practice if it were not for privately insured patients, because the government pays badly and often late. Try arguing with the government about not paying their bills.

The public health care has gotten so bad that the German government has now actually FORBIDDEN most people to choose the private option. That's right, unless you earn 50,000€ ($70,000) or more per year for at least three years in a row, you are not allowed to leave the public health care system. Why? Because everybody would do it, and the system would break.

Comment #133 - Posted by: Bleicke at July 22, 2009 2:06 PM

Comment #53 - Posted by: felipe

Felipe, you describe some reasons why the present system is suboptimal - but don't seem to know why they are as they are. There is a reason - many and massive govt interventions into the health care market. From health insurance being judged a non-taxable benefit during WWII wage controls, to limits on cross state insurability which limit competition, to state mandates that all policies sold must cover specific insurance option (treatment for alcoholism, for example) whether needed or not, to medicare and medicaid charging rates which require doctors/hospitals to overcharge the private payers to pay for the loses on the publicly paid customers, to non-profit status of some hospitals leading to their being awarded special monopoly care (best described by Herzlinger in "Who Killed Health Care") ... these interventions by the government have resulted in a perverse system which is incented to pass costs down the line, provide care that is un-needed, and frankly works AGAINST citizens by making drugs too expensive to develop and market (and I'll leave it at that for the many since of the FDA, again a huge cost driver).

Your conclusion:
"Looking across developed (and even many poorly developed) countries, US health care typically costs about twice as much or more, and performs as well to a lot worse, depending on what category you look at. We're paying twice as much to get a lot less back. Something really has to give, and it should have given decades ago."

makes me think of at least two things. One, they pay less because they don't have it to pay, so the comparison is not valid. As for the results, I ask you to cite the ones you think are significant. Most of the comprehensive reports I've seen are built by socialists (meaning those who believe the the coercive power of the STATE is the key to all things good) trying to justify either their nation's socialist systems or justify the US giving up its 50% socialist system for one even more dominated and frocked up by the govt. These reports start with socialist assumptions and support socialist conclusions.

However, I agree something has to give. I think we should try liberty and see how that works - it works very well in the arenas of health care in which it is now practiced (LASIK and cosmetic surgery). If liberty is not an option, then the default should first be to the govt intervention that impact liberty the least.

But the health care debate, and this article, is difficult to even engage without a framework for the discussion. To establish the framework, I commend to you this piece by CrossFit's own Bingo: http://skyvisioncenters.com/blog/wp-trackback.php?p=74

Comment #134 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 2:09 PM

Slish- Congratulations on your weight loss. Thats quite an accomplishment, 30 lbs. Glad you decided to give CrossFit a whirl, you will not be disappointed.

Tips: Sit down in a comfy chair and go to main site. Click on Start Here! and read it. No, sorry! Devour it. Do the same thing with FAQ and Exercises and Demos. Watch as many videos as you can. Then get up, yawn, stretch, drink some water and watch some more. Take $25 that you previously would have spent on processed, chemical-laden frankenfoods and subscribe to the CrossFit Journal. You may have to cancel all plans for the weekend :)

Spend as much time as you can READING WATCHING and LEARNING. Most people here are of the friendly type. RECORD your WODs, not on little scraps of paper like I used to :) put them in a notebook, and jot down not only what you did BUT how you did it (did you have to scale a weight down, or maybe the reps- however you decide to scale, record it) When a workout comes up again...ta-dah! you know what you did last time, what to shoot for and the fun begins :)

Far as WeightWatchers- main site, then message board, then nutrition. Now off with you onto your 5K! Good luck.(Remember to record not only your time, but the route or treadmill settings)

Welcome :)

Comment #135 - Posted by: Strong Lil Pony! at July 22, 2009 2:11 PM

SAY IT LIKE IT IS. THIS GUY WANTS TO RUIN
OUR COUNTRY. SOCIALISM = COMMUNISM.
HE IS NO GOOD, YES WE DO NEED CHANGE BUT
FOR THE BETTER. LETS DO THE RIGHT THING AND
VOTE HIM OUT NEXT ELECTION BEFORE HE DOES MORE
DAMAGE.

Comment #136 - Posted by: PETE at July 22, 2009 2:13 PM

Penty and Goat,

I did not say legitimate laws are ethical. Unethical but legitimate laws can be sorted out in two ways: (1) at the ballot box; (2) by judicial review.

Acknowledge that society, even in a well-organized, sophisticated, lawful and liberty-loving place like the US, political life is a contest between interests, a "war" if you will. Some people will always try to f with other people, by making narrow administrative decisions (you don't get your liquor licence) or by broad legislative ones (you must pay for my health care, you may not be legally married).

It seems to me the question is, how do we deal with this. There will never be a time when the fight stops. If you get your limited, minimalist republic and the laws are stripped down to property rights and a criminal code and what you might call a "natural" bill of rights, the fight will go on....and power will accumulate in the hands of a few indidviduals and the groups that form around them. This is born out thoroughly by history. And the historian Niccolo Machiavelli (in his Discourses on the History of Rome) noted that what keeps a society free is the internal competition between factions, between groups within the society, and what is required is a Constitution, a political arrangement in which the competition remains vital and in which no one group dominates. That arrangement is a mixed constitution, like the one you have in the US. The drafters of your constitution read Machiavelli, and Montesquieu's continuation of M's theme.

My point is that in order to be freeish, in order to avoid plutochracy or autocracy, you must put your eggs in the constitutional democratic basket. Sometimes you will not like the result. I think that's as good as you will get.

Spider Chick,

You really think you are responsible for developing M.S. or schizophrenia, or many types of cancer? What if Rand had given Taggart lukemia at age 15, before she had made her millions, how would she have faired then? Would Rand have written a touching death bed scene? Would Dagny have died without any money of her own to pay for treatment? No. Daddy Taggart would have paid for it. What if daddy Taggart couldn't pay for it? What if Daddy Taggart worked 60hrs a week doing manual labour and had managed the Herculean task of saving up enough for a down-payment on a house to bootstrap his family out of the renting working class and into the property-owning working class and spent it all on his lovely daughter, but that only got her 8 months of chemo and she died early into her sixteenth year? Rand's characters are cardboard.

Comment #137 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 2:16 PM

@Prole

Exactly. If you don't have money, and people that care for you don't have any money, YOU DON'T GET STUFF! That's how it works.

I really want to drive a Lamborghini. But I don't have the money. Neither does my daddy. Isn't it unfair that I don't get to have a Lamborghini? Don't I have the right to a nice car?

No, I don't. There can be no right to get stuff when someone has to MAKE that stuff. And pills and CAT scanners and syringes are only stuff, in the end.

Comment #138 - Posted by: Bleicke at July 22, 2009 2:38 PM

Ok...where to start...

Who am I? Why should anyone care what I think? I am a physician in a private practice, a specialist. I have been practicing my specialty for almost 20 years. I am inside Healthcare. I own a small business and therefore buy "Health Insurance" for 10 families. I am a patient, married to a patient, the father of three patients. I am a medical business consultant with clients who are both physicians and their practices, and large medical companies.

How about definitions? Health Care: the provision of medical and surgical care to treat disease. Preventative care: the provision of health care performed to prevent disease. Public Health: initiatives undertaken by the state to promote health or prevent disease.

Insurance: a financial instrument meant to prevent financial ruin in the face of some untoward, unexpected event. Extended Warrantee: an optional service plan purchased in order to pre-pay for uncommon but not unexpected expenses, a means to limit the amount of money spent out of pocket for common but somewhat unpredictable events. Insulation: something place between two other things to prevent the second things from coming in contact with one another.

Health Insurance: a misnomer in the vernacular sense in that American Health Insurance performs more like an Extended Warranty/Pre-paid Service plan and Insulation (insulating a patient from the cost of care) than insurance in all but the most extreme cases of illness/accident.

Once upon a time patients wrote checks for much of their routine care. Well-baby checks, throat cultures, etc. Hospitalization was typically covered by "health insurance" as was major illness treatment. Funny thing at that time--people only went to the doctor when they were really sick. Lots and lots of skinny people walking around Main Street smoking and drinking...and dying of stuff we now cure. People not smoking and drinking, especially the skinny ones, typically lived a good long time. No reason to visit a doctor.

The age of medicare (NOT medicaid) born to prevent the wanton, widespread bankruptcy of American elderly, and the growth of labor unions brought with them not so much a decrease in disease as 1) More treatments 2)More Healthcare 3) Longer lives 4)Less healthy individuals living longer lives because Healthcare got so good and they thought it was free. (Crisis of Abundance: Kling; Medicare research, MIT Dept. of Economics).

We do not, in fact have a Healthcare Crisis in the United States; our medical and surgical care is unparalleled on the planet despite the pabulum you read in the NYT about medical errors, etc. We have A) a Healthcare Finance Crisis and B) a Health Crisis. We are too good at keeping fat, drunk, nicotine-poisoned Americans alive, and it's really expensive to do so.

Mythbuster #1: We do not have a Healthcare Crisis in the United States; if we did we'd have fewer fat, drunk, nicotine-addicted unhealthy people. They'd be dead.

More to come.

Comment #139 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 2:45 PM

"the current junta"

FAIL

Comment #140 - Posted by: psmitty at July 22, 2009 2:46 PM

Prole. Thanks for the laugh.

How ghastly is this concept: The family takes care of its own. You rely on yourself. Spooky concept for the incompetent beggars and looters. Second nature for some of us, and we take the idea in stride.


It's immoral to take by force the earnings of one family to distribute to others. Regardless of what misfortune befalls another person. Regardless of what federal agency does the taking.

It's immoral for the government to steal. Dressing it up as some sort of sob story charity case robin hood-esque redistribution of wealth to the "needy" doesn't change the nature of the theft.

What's so shocking about being responsible for yourself and yours? Why is it so morally repugnant about taking care of yourself, and how difficult is it to keep your hands out of everyone else's wallet?

Lukemia happens. People die. I certainly plan on expiring at a date that is yet unknown to me, but whose anniversary comes along every year.

And, because my nature is to be responsible for myself... Prole, it's your lucky day: I'm not asking you to pay for a penny of it. Does that upset you that you don't have to fund illness and death expenses for me? For someone with whom you share the fraternal bonds of crossfit? Nah. Didn't think so.

So, if you're not too thrilled at cutting a check for my fatal illness, what does that mean to your argument?

oh but wait. maybe you're not just making noise!

and, if you really are that guy, and want to fund some disease costs, I would LOVE to have your money. Contact me, and I'll send you my paypal account. There's gotta be something on me that needs a touch up. Or, how about my best friend who really does have cancer all over her body? She could certainly use your money! Thanks! Look forward to getting your money soon. My pal sure can use it.

Let's keep it real.

Comment #141 - Posted by: Spider Chick at July 22, 2009 2:48 PM

Ah, let's see...what's next?

"There are 45 million people in the United States without Healthcare."

Hmmm...nope. At any one time there are around 45 million people who do not have what is commonly called Health Insurance (see above definitions). The numbers that follow are approximate, but they are accurate enough to explain the truth.

Of that 45 million without "Health Insurance" between 8 and 10 million are illegal aliens. They do not have either employer paid "Insurance" or govt. paid coverage because, well, they're not supposed to be here and if they signed up they'd get caught.

Around 10 million are people who qualify for some government coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, etc.) but for some reason have not signed up. In Cleveland Metro General hospital increased its top line revenue by $25 Million in 2008 by simply signing up all of its "free-care" patients who were eligible for government "Insurance". Another 10 million are people who are temporarily without "Insurance" while they are between jobs, cities, schools, etc. and a final 10 million or so are young people who simply elect not to purchase/accept "Insurance", choosing instead to buy an IPod, flat screen, or Lamborgini (thought I didnt' read that post, eh?).

So that leaves 5-8 million Americans who are chronically without "Insurance". There are approximately 160 million Americans with private "Insurance" and another 100+ million with government "Insurance". We should dropkick the entire system for 5-8 million Americans who are chronically without "Insurance"? And are they without Healthcare? Of course not. These are the people who get their flu shots at the local level 1 trauma center. Optimal? Of course not, but they are hardly without Healthcare.

Numbers availble with little effort in all manner of sources including BOTH WSJ and NYT.

Mythbuster #2: We don't have 45 million Americans without Healthcare.

Comment #142 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 3:05 PM

A part of the answer is Public Health. Chew on this for a bit; I gotta check in Chez Bingo. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030260

Comment #143 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 3:08 PM

I come to this page for training info and great comments about gutting it out and pushing through when you really want to quit. If I want to read articles about healthcare, I'll watch the news. I don't care what side if the isle you are on, I dint care for politics in Crossfit. Government does for itself, is a necessary evil at it's best. Let's train please. No more political posts please.

Comment #144 - Posted by: Perry Williams at July 22, 2009 3:17 PM

Spider Chick (##125 & 138),

I recall from an interview posted on this site (and refreshed my recollection a short time ago) that you work in government procurement for the Peace Corps. Interested in how you reconcile that with the philosophy expressed in your posts?

CPP

Comment #145 - Posted by: CPP at July 22, 2009 3:22 PM

I like the responses. Lord knows I've spilled enough pixels on this.

The net, to me, is that Catastrophic coverage MUST BE MADE LEGAL IN ALL STATES. This will force people to care about the cost of their insurance, where it is invisible to them now.

A secondary result might well be an economic upswing. Money now spent providing tests and care patients would not pay for if they knew it was their own money, are now currently bankrupting some small businesses. The Leftists have that part right.

As usual--as they did in the Depression, which they created, as they did in the War on Poverty, which morphed into a Poverty Incentive Program--the Left is mistaking a problem they have CREATED for a problem they can solve. Their purported "solution" (people using the word reform, go check the bump on Orwell's grave where he is tossing and turning) will make things worse.

Small businesses, rather, need to be able to jettison the large amounts of money they spend now on "healthcare", and either use it to cut costs to be more competitive, or to pass that money along to their employees, to use as they please. If the goal is to get real money (hint, hint: taxes are not real money; they are a deferred Capital loss) into the economy, that would be a great way to do it.

It is insane--clinically insane--to claim that the market is not competitive enough when most insurance companies can't sell into all States, can't sell to individuals in over half the country, and can't sell Catastrophic coverage in much of the country.

I will reiterate, too, that the profit motive is by far, hands down, the most efficient method EVER devised by the mind of man (and women) to EFFICIENTLY utilize resources.

I see, over and over and over, Leftists complaining the free markets don't work, WHEN THEY THEMSELVES PREVENT COMPETITION through restrictive legislation that protects virtually no one but Union bosses, and, possibly, their constituents, who in almost all cases are simply consumers of other people's money.

If anyone has an interest in my "Health Insurance in 9 paragraphs" that I have posted several times, email me, as it will take a couple minutes to find it.

There have been a LOT of good comments on this one. I may just sit the rest of this one out, if it continues.

Comment #146 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 3:32 PM

"cost of their healthcare", is what I meant, although of course cost of healthcare and cost of insurance are related, since the second pays, indirectly, for the latter.

Comment #147 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 3:34 PM

Bleike,

I think a luxury car and a chemo treatment are very, very different kinds of things. If you don't I'm fear I don't want to invest the time trying to persuade you they are different things. That sounded like an offhand remark, I hope it was.

I do not want people to have a "right" to a chemo treatment. I want them to have a right to whatever medical care is commensurate with the highest level of universal healthcare that is economically sustainable in a public healthcare system. It is not all or nothing. At #69 KSW posted an interesting article explaining why the adoption of public health care or not, CANNOT be an all or nothing issue.


Spiderchick,

Would you or your friend cut a check for my fatal cancer if I had it (or my mother's before she died)? If you would, then I'd cut the check for you.

And since my check would be small all by itself, and your check for me would be small all by itself, I'd rather we both put our checks into a shared account (called public health care) so that our money, put all together might actually help out you or your friend, or me and my daughter.

I suspect (at this point in my life - 34)I am a net giver to this sytem, to any public system. But I very easily might not have been in the position to be a net giver. And when I was a child, I may have died, I may not have learned to read if it were not for the "systems" I took from and now give back to. This goes for almost everyone I know.

Trying to keep it real.


Bingo,

I'm sure your posts on this are great. Don't want to even start on them until I can really look at them - and also that link from Apollo.

Comment #148 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 3:44 PM

@Prole

You don't want to invest the time to convince me of your argument? I guess that's a white flag. Thanks for playing.

Considering "public health care is not all or nothing":
Here in Germany, where we have public health care competing with private health care (as I wrote in my above post), it's migrating towards all or nothing. There is a huge gap. The public health care-competes-with private health care system is just not working, take my country as an example.

Comment #149 - Posted by: Bleicke at July 22, 2009 3:56 PM

Bingo--

Very nice post. Interesting point about Cleveland saving so much by signing people up for existing payers. I dont know the stats, but i do know (from working there) that Denver Health Hospital (a county indigent hospital) has actually run in a profit despite all its free care. Thats becuase they employ many social workers, etc, to find payers (ie, medicaid) for the drunks and heroine addicts that show up on their doorstep.

Comment #150 - Posted by: Brendan at July 22, 2009 4:16 PM

I love days off, to bad I had to take mine yesterday!

1 rep max deadlift x 7:

Sets 1 & 2: 275
Sets 3 & 4: 295
Sets 5 & 6: 315
Set 7: 375

Comment #151 - Posted by: Kiser at July 22, 2009 4:18 PM

You know, I think a word is in order on "freedom". As Bleicke is showing, and as Friedrich Hayek argued with overwhelming force throughout his career, once the State is given control of some aspect of our behavior, "freedom" changes from doing what we want (seeing the doctor we want, paying what we want, being insured or uninsured as we choose), to doing what some intellectual thinks is best for us.

Quite literally, leftists do not see their programs as reductions in freedom. They see their programs as self evidently necessary, correct in general and particular, and any deviation from their program as uninformed (or intentionally malicious) obstructionism.

This pattern repeats, over and over and over. Lenin created concentration camps for dissidents for the simple reason that his reasoning process ALWAYS began with the assumption that he and his Party were always right. Given this assumption, it is logical to assume that variance from their views is a crime, since it is factually wrong and therefore decreasing the speed with which the "people" (always in the abstract, of course, for Communists) were to "freed" from the tyranny of inequality, and non-Communistic imperialism.

Invoking "liberty" or freedom therefore is not a rhetorical ploy. It is not a trick. It is quite literally an insistence that individuals be allowed, under law, to live their lives the way they choose.

I always thought Charlie Daniels put it well in this "Long Haired Country Boy". "I ain't askin' nobody for nothin'/ if I can't get it on my own. You don't like the way I'm livin'/ you just leave this long haired country boy alone."

Comment #152 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:19 PM

You know, I think a word is in order on "freedom". As Bleicke is showing, and as Friedrich Hayek argued with overwhelming force throughout his career, once the State is given control of some aspect of our behavior, "freedom" changes from doing what we want (seeing the doctor we want, paying what we want, being insured or uninsured as we choose), to doing what some intellectual thinks is best for us.

Quite literally, leftists do not see their programs as reductions in freedom. They see their programs as self evidently necessary, correct in general and particular, and any deviation from their program as uninformed (or intentionally malicious) obstructionism.

Comment #153 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:20 PM

This pattern repeats, over and over and over. Lenin created concentration camps for dissidents for the simple reason that his reasoning process ALWAYS began with the assumption that he and his Party were always right. Given this assumption, it is logical to assume that variance from their views is a crime, since it is factually wrong and therefore decreasing the speed with which the "people" (always in the abstract, of course, for Communists) were to "freed" from the tyranny of inequality, and non-Communistic imperialism.

Invoking "liberty" or freedom therefore is not a rhetorical ploy. It is not a trick. It is quite literally an insistence that individuals be allowed, under law, to live their lives the way they choose.

I always thought Charlie Daniels put it well in this "Long Haired Country Boy". "I ain't asking nobody for nothing if I can't get it on my own. You don't like the way I'm living, you just leave this long haired country boy alone."

Comment #154 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:21 PM

This pattern repeats, over and over and over. Lenin created concentration camps for dissidents for the simple reason that his reasoning process ALWAYS began with the assumption that he and his Party were always right. Given this assumption, it is logical to assume that variance from their views is a crime, since it is factually wrong and therefore decreasing the speed with which the "people" (always in the abstract, of course, for Communists) were to "freed" from the tyranny of inequality, and non-Communistic imperialism.

Invoking "liberty" or freedom therefore is not a rhetorical ploy. It is not a trick. It is quite literally an insistence that individuals be allowed, under law, to live their lives the way they choose.

Comment #155 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:22 PM

This pattern repeats, over and over and over. Lenin created concentration camps for dissidents for the simple reason that his reasoning process ALWAYS began with the assumption that he and his Party were always right. Given this assumption, it is logical to assume that variance from their views is a crime, since it is factually wrong and therefore decreasing the speed with which the "people" (always in the abstract, of course, for Communists) were to "freed" from the tyranny of inequality, and non-Communistic imperialism.

Invoking "liberty" or freedom therefore is not a rhetorical ploy. It is not a trick. It is quite literally an insistence that individuals be allowed, under law, to live their lives the way they choose.

Comment #156 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:22 PM

I always thought Charlie Daniels put it well in this "Long Haired Country Boy". "I ain't asking nobody for nothing if I can't get it on my own. You don't like the way I'm living, you just leave this long haired country boy alone."

Comment #157 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 22, 2009 4:23 PM

did my deads just now... i am behind wod schedule but day 3 of cf after a 4 month break and wow I can still deadlift> i was suprised with my results. WU: 15 PUSH 10 PULL, 135#x5x5 185#x5x5
then 1X225, 1X265, 1X305, 1X325, 1X355, 1X375 all was great and i was inline to get at least 395 but on the way down with 375 my hand ripped open so i had to stop(didnt wanna bleed on my gyms floor! ohh well i am stoked with my performance specially since it has been a while.

M/24/184/5'11

Comment #158 - Posted by: D-wreck at July 22, 2009 4:38 PM


Beicke,

Do you see a difference between the provision of publicly subsidized or nearly free drinking water and publicly subsidized or nearly free luxury cars?

If so, why?

If you are ok with providing pulbicly subsidized (nearly free) drinking water to the people of Hamburg or Cleveland, why are not ok with providing a range of medical services to the people of Hamburg or Cleveland? Is it a matter of relative cost to relative benefit (as Bingo has been arguing)? If so, ok, we can debate relative costs and benefits.

But that is something different than relying on a blanket principle that you, as an individual don't get stuff if you don't have the money.

In response to the approaching failure of the two tier system in German, perhaps it is simply the case the German policy makers don't know how to do it right.


Barry,

Who are you talking to? Why do you keep flogging the leftist horse when there are no leftists around here to defend it, or who care to defend it? Why don't you talk to the folks who are posting here, or at least identify who these leftist bogeys out in the big bad world are so we have some context for the evil we are hearing described to us?

Comment #159 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 5:00 PM

Just to throw this out there. I have been hearing ads on the radio lately for Pennsylvania's CHIP program. The ads say that CHIP provides health coverage to all children REGARDLESS OF INCOME LEVEL. Tell me there is nobody out there making triple what I do (triple my income would be considered by most a "pretty good" living), raising one child, and using my dollars to get that kid's checkups. Nice, very nice.

Comment #160 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 22, 2009 5:11 PM

That article is absurd. Why is that libertarian craziness posted on crossfit? Here is a much more interesting and reasonable article.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all

Comment #161 - Posted by: Eric at July 22, 2009 5:11 PM

Come on people. I bet you are the same ones who argue that since you yourselves don't have children you shouldn't have to pay for schools. What about military protection from foreign invaders, perhaps we should stop paying for that and instead we can all buy our own guns, ammo, etc... Along the same lines maybe we should do away with paying for the police, I have multiple guns, I can defend myself and those who don't can go F*&^ themselves. You know I have a car with all-wheel drive, lets do away with the highway department. Heck, lets just do away with the government altogether, they just impinge on my rights anyway. Wait a second that sounds like anarchy...

While I agree that I should not have to pay for the smokers, the boozers, the junkies and the fatties, I am willing to cover them if it means I am also paying for the 5 year old kid with lymphoma, the single mom with a congenital heart defect and the 78 year old woman who, after years of paying her taxes, develops ovarian cancer.

Comment #162 - Posted by: dan m at July 22, 2009 5:20 PM

I won't comment on every point made in the article. Suffice it to say that I disagree with the concept of socialized medicine. But I must take issue with the author's explanation as to why healthcare is not a right. My, oh my! What a convoluted mess! imo, this is proof of the fundamental problem in America--namely, that people don't understand the concept of individual rights.

It's actually quite simple. We have the right to pursue our lives and our happiness as we see fit, as long as we don't interfere with someone else's right to do the same. That's pretty much it. Interfering or violating someone else's rights is called a "crime." The only proper role of government--again, *only* proper role--is to protect these rights. Ideally, no one's rights would ever be violated (through crime), so there would be no need for government. But for now, the only way we can protect our rights is through a government (making government the "necessary evil").

The only proper role of government is to protect our rights, period. No, it's not a role of government to provide healthcare, or schooling, or welfare, etc. And it's also NOT a role of government to promote religion, or to define marriage, or to look out for our morality. THIS is what it means to have a "smaller government," except that the term "smaller" isn't accurate. A better term would be to have "precise government," a government as small or big as necessary to protect these rights.

So it's pretty obvious why healthcare is not a right. If it were, not having it would be considered a crime, and that simply makes no sense. We are certainly free to *pursue* healthcare. That is most definitely our right. Just like we have a right to pursue education and employment, but we don't have a right to education and employment.

The author's confusion in regards to the definition of a "right" is very telling, and it highlights the fundamental problem in most of today's debates. I've even come across many people--liberals and conservatives--that think governments grant or give us our rights! (Don't even get me started on that one...) It's kind of difficult to convince anyone that something is or isn't a right if neither side knows how to define the term.

And of course, this is but one part of the "bigger" conversation we should be having--and are having, for the most part. Namely, defining the proper role of government. We need to stop arguing about "smaller" vs. "bigger" government, and instead focus on establishing precisely what government should and shouldn't be doing--and why.

Yeah, I said it was simple, but I didn't say it would be short!

One more thing. imo, people are all too willing to throw around the "communist" word these days. And the doom and gloom scenarios people describe are downright frightening, but I think they are a bit exaggerated. There are plenty of rational arguments that can be made against socialized healthcare without being overly dramatic. I know a lot of people that believe socialized healthcare is the way to go. None of them are evil, atheist communists. None of them are sniveling and sneering at the money they'll be stealing from us. They simply think it's a good use of our tax dollars. Of course, I'll try to convince them they're wrong, but honestly, how far will I get if I start the conversation with "You communist thieves!! Keep your hands off my money!"

Take care...

Comment #163 - Posted by: drjmm at July 22, 2009 5:21 PM

the fact that I have had to sift through all of these opinions, makes me begin to feel pretty opinionated myself. The reason I come here is for learning more about CROSSFIT... one person bothered to give advice to the guy asking for help with weightloss... I KNOW LOTS OF YOU COULD HELP... But we seem to be preoccupied with the politics... I am here to become a better crossfitter, and hope tomorrow's wod comes soon.

Comment #164 - Posted by: snix at July 22, 2009 5:24 PM

#157 snix

you are dead on.

#124 Slish
Congrats on dropping 30# already. Fantastic accomplishment in and of itself. As to WW, I am not entirely familiar with it. The community aspect of it is fantastic, reminds me of the CF community.

Many of the people on this site utilize a paleo or zone-based nutrition plan wherein carbs, specifically refined sugars are avoided like the plague. I would highly recommend reading any of Barry Sears' books as they explain much of the science behind the diet. I personally use a modified paleo, I focus on avoiding any prepackaged foods and eating a lot of meat, nuts and vegies which has allowed me to drop from 235 to 218 while at the same time increasing the total number of pushups, pullups, situps, back extensions, front squat weight, deadlift weight, push press weight, etc... I swam for one of the best collegiate teams in the world and I can honestly say that at 33 I am in the best shape of my life. Crossfit is the best thing I have ever come across.

Keep working hard and thinking about what you eat and you will kick butt. Welcome to the community.

Comment #165 - Posted by: dan m at July 22, 2009 5:43 PM

Ok...I'm back...did you miss me?

Did you read my link on "The Eight America's?" No? Man...I've been holding that one for more than a year!

Here's the bottom line. 8 separate cohorts of Americans were identified based on county of residence, race, income, etc. Life expectancy/survival was the outcome variable measured. There was a 30+ year difference between the longest lived (city-dwelling Asians) and shortest lived (essentially a tie between urban blacks and rural whites). What were the causes of this dramatic difference? Income? Nope. Access to Healthcare? Uh uh. Whether or not they had "Insurance"? Nah. It was the presence of lifestyle-related health problems. Yup...obesity, alcohol abuse and alcohol-related accidents, diabetes, heart disease. They even threw out murder and HIV-related disease and it was STILL lifestyle-related disease deaths.

What does this mean? Well, as I noted above, if you lived in Canada, Sweden, England, Germany, France, well, you get the idea, these people would be DEAD! We spend lots and lots of money in the U.S. keeping these fat, drunk, nicotine-addicted sick people alive because we CAN. It costs lots and lots of money to do this, and unless we address the HEALTH issue in the U.S. we are destined to fail in whatever manner of finance reform we choose to fail at.

So, we need to become more healthy. This is the appropriate place to introduce the concept of Public Health, the concept or proposition that we must INVEST in the health of our countrymen as a primary means toward achieving solvency in our medical system. Think about it--are you old enough to remember the mumps? Whooping Cough? Rubella (German measles)? How about the measles or smallpox? My mother had polio. Have you ever seen pictures of people with polio in iron lungs, unable to breath on their own? My mother had polio--I am that close to being nothing more than two gametes who never met. Why don't we have thousands and thousands of children dying each year from these diseases? The introduction of massive public health measures (mandatory vaccination) has removed this from the parental memory.

It was in all likelihood the wrong-headed public health introduction of the food pyramid and the replacement of meat and fat with random low-quality carbs that has contributed to the obesity epidemic in the U.S., and there is no reason that a more appropriate public health program couldn't undo this. This is one of the few examples in which a foreign country can provide an actionable example. In the 70's Sweden had a ridiculously high cardiac disease rate and death rate. A root cause analysis discovered that the high concentration of saturated fat from dairy in the typical Swedish diet was the main culprit. A major public health effort to reduce dairy fat resulted in significant, measurable decreases in cardiac deaths. It takes commitment, money, and time. Can our elected officials give us all three?


Comment #166 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 5:48 PM

Mythbuster #3: We will NEVER have a solvent Healthcare finance system if we don't make HEALTH our primary concern.

Comment #167 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 5:49 PM

3 mile jog with double stroller with 1 and 3 year old..

31:00

Comment #168 - Posted by: jill 31/122/5'4 at July 22, 2009 5:51 PM

just bought gym rings. worked on the muscle up. struggling with the transition part.

Comment #169 - Posted by: will (m/20/5'9/160) at July 22, 2009 5:53 PM

worked on the muscle up today with new gym rings. struggling with the transition

Comment #170 - Posted by: will (m/20/5'9/160) at July 22, 2009 5:54 PM

Comment #25 - Posted by: AMERISWEDE

Ameriswede - while there's no argument that both mainstream parties have failed at this point to undo the damage that was done by earlier govt interventions, I hope you would not use that failure to justify giving these clowns even more power over your life, my life, all of us.

If you think the Americans you describe are hurting from the present system, just wait until the govt takes over. What power will these folks then have to affect what health care is provided to them? The bankruptcy issue relates to govt interventions that prevented the emergency of a vibrant individual market for catastrophic insurance. Are you aware of these? This could be corrected in many ways, the simplest of which would be to make it illegal for companies to provide health insurance to employees (a nearly impossible outcome, granted).

Comment #171 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 6:03 PM

SLISH... AWESOME JOB! Welcome to Crossfit, and keep up the hard work. I wish I could offer advice to you regards WW... But I don't know much about it. I do know that Crossfit breeds fire breathing dargons! Welcome!

Comment #172 - Posted by: snix at July 22, 2009 6:06 PM

Thought you were done with me, huh?

Let's talk about incentives, shall we? Why, exactly, is it that we have so much Healthcare being provided, good or bad on the outcome side? Let's agree on a couple of things up front, OK? Let's agree that there is a small number of doctors and a larger number of hospital administrators who make a significant amount of their treatment and policy decisions base solely on how much they can manage to get paid. It's really out there, but on the doc side I must disappoint all of you doctor bashers, it just isn't terribly common. Now on the hospital side I'm not nearly so optimistic--heck, they ignore wonderful research that PROVES things are wasteful (pre-admission testing for outpatient surgery, for example) and do it any way because it pays them money and because no one will stop them and because THEY CAN.

Oops. Sorry. Got carried away. Anyway, let's also accept that there's some care that gets done that doesn't work because the doc is not up to speed on the newest stuff. Again, not often, but also not never. Let's also agree (because it's the truth) that this is a very small number dollar-wise. Given these admissions and agreements, what are the biggest factors contributing to unnecessary Healthcare being provided in the U.S.? Two things, one and incentive and one a lack of incentive.

Our present system of third party payment by "Health Insurance" insulates patients/customers from the cost of their care. There is simply no disincentive to accepting more and more care since a patient has no idea what it costs and certainly is not paying anything for that care (this goes for all patients with any kind or "Insurance" and actually for patients who are bereft of funds as well). If a treatment or test is recommended and you have the time, what's to keep you from having it, regardless of how little incremental diagnostic or therapeutic benefit may ensue? No one, and I do mean NO ONE, has any real skin in the game.

On the doctor side this is where defensive medicine rears its ugly head. Doctors and institutional administrators are so afraid of being sued that there is essentially no amount of care that is sufficient if JUST A LITTLE MORE might be all it takes to prevent that law suit, or Heaven forbid the lawsuit gets filed, to keep from losing. Innumerable economists have estimated that defensive medicine accounts for between 15-25% of all healthcare expenses. Think about that--15-25% or a $2Trillion segment of the economy. $300-500 Billion.

Mythbuster #4: We will never achieve true reform of our Healthcare Finance system until we remove the specter of our runaway tort system.

Comment #173 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 6:12 PM

Goat you are very interesting....and you make sense. Keep writing.

Comment #174 - Posted by: runnerfirst at July 22, 2009 6:12 PM

Prole says: "Could the state buy for its state-monopoly at a price that is lower than what it is today, but still at a price where it is profitable for companies to produce new drugs?"

Yes, but you have to think of these things in terms of the marginal value - that is to say, if a drug would save five people's lives, and would cost 1 gozillion dollars to develop, test, get approval, and distribute, no one's ever going to make that drug. Conversely, a drug that will cure all of us of being slow and weak that had the same costs would still be worth investing in. Somewhere in the middle of the two slam dunk cases, any extra cost imposed by govt, or any limit to potential payments inposed by govt, or any risk that govt won't 'authorize' the product, impacts what drugs are brought to market.

Comment #175 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 6:19 PM

"Admittedly, the monopoly price (the lower but not too low price) may require the Canadians to pay more for their drugs. But they'll do it happily to keep their high quality universal minimum standard health care."
-pay it happily? Do they have a choice? It's so expensive there was discussion not too long ago about whether or not it COULD be paid for. That was about the time an older gentlemen sued, and won in the supreme court the right to pay for his own knee replacement since the state told him he had to wait two years.

In any event, the reason the Canadians and Euros have been able to pay for their national health care is the 50% of US citizens that pay federal taxes have bought the defense and stability of the western world for the last 60+ years. Rightly or wrongly we have paid the lion's share of stability and sustained globalization which has made those who participate in trade rich - very rich compared to those nations who would or could not participate.

The 50+% of health care which the US taxpayer is already paying is on course to bankrupt the US treasury, and certainly puts the ability to the US DoD to sustain its dominance in force projection at risk. Will be interesting to see how that all unfolds when the security of the allies can no longer be sustained by US wealth.

Comment #176 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 6:27 PM

@Apolloswabble

Yep, you guys re-building Germany and generally keeping the playground bullies at bay was very relaxing ;-) Thx again.

Comment #177 - Posted by: Bleicke at July 22, 2009 6:38 PM

#180 Bleicke

Germany was the problem, twice if my history serves me right. Germany got what it deserved. Be happy your country was not completely wiped from the map.

Comment #178 - Posted by: dm at July 22, 2009 6:45 PM

My comment is simple.

Healthcare reform rammed through by the govt is bad, he is correct. The free market system is toppling the inefficiencies of our system which is wise.

Why?

Because we are not as better off for our healthcare system as Dr. Asness believes. We suck when compared to so many comparable countries, the World Health Organization data will prove that easily.

Why? We need more CrossFit mentality people in this country, how many of you are taking lifetyle meds? How many of you are looking for an answer to depression in a pill? Far less than the population at large, because you find health through care of the frame and diet and nutrition as Edison had prophesied years ago.

If you think a drug is increasing the quality of life of people you are wrong in most instances, it is simply increasing the life, not the quality. I see 800 patients a week in my practice, and I can tell you the anecdotal evidence is insurmountable.

Our system has too many people thinking there is an easy way, and not enough people telling those people they are wrong. Drug companies message is almost entirely "follow me, take this drug and jump through the fields and laugh and smile again". Crap, jump? Supposedly "Fit" people at the globo gym can't jump. You think a chronic arthritis patient is going to suddenly get up and jump because of a drug? Put them through the world of functional fitness and a diet free of inflammatory foods and they just might!

Let people realize that the answer is in prevention and wellness, not in more drugs and procedures. This mess needs to self correct.

Comment #179 - Posted by: DrEric at July 22, 2009 6:47 PM

#27 Cookie~ I felt like one of the 7 Dwarfs working in the mines! All I needed to do was start singing "Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho"...you get my drift!

Comment #180 - Posted by: Fit Mom in CT of CrossFit Persevere (F38/125/5'2") at July 22, 2009 6:50 PM

So what's left? FWIW as Apolloswabbie pointed out, I have written extensively on this. http://www.drdarrellwhite.com. Oh yeah, let's offer some solutions.

1) A single standard billing form, universally utilized by every third party payer. Do you have any idea how much wasted time, effort, and money is involved in managing the couple thousand forms out there now? It's obscene. Savings estimate 5% from just this.

2) National insurance risk pools. Real insurance, insurance that protects against financial ruin from medical catastrophe. This would require the abolition of state mandates and insurance licenses to allow for cross-state competition. Opening up this market to national competition will bring massive innovation to this part of the economy with the introduction of new products and price competition for both the catastrophic insurance and the pre-paid plans to manage your deductible. It is probably necessary to mandate high-deductible catastrophic insurance for all American citizens. Savings 5%.

3) Malpractice tort reform. Institute either special courts with specialized judges a la bankruptcy or tax courts. Take the malpractice insurance premiums and place them in a national trust to compensate the victims of medical misadventure, error, or just plain bad luck. Did you know that 40% of med-mal recoveries go to the lawyer, not the victim? Did you know that med-mal victims who lose their case get nothing? Or that innocent docs who lose a case can be destroyed even if there was no malpractice?

Or how about this? Not a single doctor or hospital is willing to report an error or mistake voluntarily because doing so will guarantee a lawsuit. How can we possibly perform a root cause analysis of preventable errors if we don't even know how often they occur? We simply cannot address the quality of medical care, even if it's 99% great and we are shooting for 99.9, if we can't analyze the good AND the bad. It's a "DUH" moment. Savings 10%

4) The creation of a minimum level of primary, non-catastrophic medical care which will be provided to those who truly cannot afford either to pay their out-of-pocket pre-deductible healthcare costs or to buy a pre-paid service plan/warranty. This means having a rational discussion about what is and what is not medically necessary. No fairness BS. Only the stuff that EVERYONE needs ( and essentially everything that any child might need). The basic plan would NOT cover stuff like ED drugs (Viagra) or in vitro fertilization. Trauma and tragedy? Sure. LASIK and Liposuction? Not hardly. Acne or indigestion? Nope. Men and women of child-having age pay more because they might have children.

Catastrophic insurance is tax-deductible for everyone. No refusal of coverage for a pre-existing condition for catastrophic insurance. Tax credit to cover the deductible for the bottom 40% of incomes. Progressive tax deduction for incomes 40-60%. Top 40% on their own. Savings 0% but likely a significant brake on cost increases.

5) Rather than enlarging the government programs now in existence, or worse adding more or bigger programs, re-institute non-profit health insurance companies. Who's the dumb@$$ who thought it was a good idea to allow all of those BCBS companies to become for-profit entities, anyway. I don't remember reading about all of those huge insurance exec salaries when the Blues, etc. competed for the business do you? Cost savings 0% but a brake on cost increases.

6) Don't mess around with price controls in pharma. The new stuff they keep coming up with is truly incredible. Don't fluck that up. For the love of G_D.

7) Let me spend more and more time with my patients. Remove all of the BS barriers, including politicians and bureaucrats, from my daily work list. Let me do more and more of what I was trained to do. I'm really good at it. Every practicing doctor is underpaid. Trust me.

I'm done.

Comment #181 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 6:52 PM

Bingo I have a question

In your opinion how much do you think a fully electronic records system would help or hurt the practice of medicine?

Also do you foresee any privacy issues?

Comment #182 - Posted by: Mike Morgan at July 22, 2009 6:58 PM

Bingo are you Canadian?

Comment #183 - Posted by: dan m at July 22, 2009 7:01 PM

Dan M #186: you're kidding, right? In case you are sincere, no, I am not Canadian. I am from New England and I live and practice in Cleveland.

Mike Morgan #186: A fully EMR will eventually reduce duplication of services and will offer a modest decrease in medication errors. However, don't forget that garbage in is still garbage out in computers; an EMR is no different.

EMR will not have any significant effect on outcomes research and application until the penalty for error reporting (getting sued) is removed. EMR will be a net decrease in efficiency in the office setting, will be a net loss in the system when the cost is factored in, and the screen will create yet another barrier between patient and doctor judging by the systems that are presently in wide use because the EMR companies are taking their marching orders from insurance companies and government bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients.

Other than that EMR is a great idea.

Comment #184 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 7:09 PM

Carried my 1 year old and occasionally my 5 year old on a 1.65 mile walk run. Got pooped on, which he thought was funny and I kinda did too.

Comment #185 - Posted by: eattheapple at July 22, 2009 7:10 PM

"Bernie Madoff should have showed us all that regulation is necessary when this much money is at stake."

On the contrary, BM shows that regulation is ineffective, and frankly, he's a piker when it comes to destroying wealth. The real thief and welath destroyers are governments, with no close competition.

Comment #186 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:12 PM

Bingo, I was in fact kidding, having a little fun waiting for tomorrows workout so I can go to bed. What do you practice? Just curious.

Comment #187 - Posted by: dan m at July 22, 2009 7:16 PM

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2009/07/22/the-difference-between-the-health-care-systems-in-canada-and-the-us/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-media&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=visits

Here's one of about a million applicable links I have on the topic

Comment #188 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:17 PM

Bingo, bingo.

Comment #189 - Posted by: Chas at July 22, 2009 7:19 PM

Ophthalmology.

Comment #190 - Posted by: bingo at July 22, 2009 7:21 PM

Myth 4 - Public and Private Options Can Coexist
Evidence? Here's how it worked out in Tennessee:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/22/tenncare_lessons_for_modern_health_care_reform_97570.html

There was a similar failure in Kentucky. The other evidence is that medicare and medicaid are sucking private payers for a de factor subsidy much like non-US drug buyers - only M and M have the muscle of the US govt.

Comment #191 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:25 PM

Prole the last para of your thoughtful post #39 is right on. It's nearly impossible not to be repulsed by the political actions of the political leaders, but most Americans do seem to want virtuous outcomes from govt. Great point.

Comment #192 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:28 PM

#60 - Quick question I can't seem to find an answer to...With the crossfit WOD's should I struggle using higher weights, or less assist, and have a slow embarassing time or should I drop the weight and aim for the times in the comments trying to build up weight?

Do both - some WODs give you a lot by being long and miserably over demanding - do them and conquer. Others, most, should be done in 10-20 minutes. Scale them to make sure they are. "The WOD is designed to exceed the capacity over time of the world's fittest athletes." Coach Glassman.

Unless you are one of those, I think that means you scale a lot, in order to get fitter faster. The interesting thing w CF is that shorter and lighter might be harder and MORE painful.

Comment #193 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:36 PM

It was morning in America once, but I think the sun has set on that perspective. We voted for "hope, instead of fear", and now all we're getting is absurd levels of fear.

Sometimes, and this may sound small-minded to many of you, I just want to be left alone.

I don't want to hear the government's views, or my family's views, or my fat, dependent friends' views, I just want to be left alone. I had health insurance, but I still ended up paying about 1400 for an ER visit. That was a lot, but not enough to break me. What broke me was losing my job because my company took cost-cutting measures (with about 13 billion in cash on hand) during a politically convenient crisis. Now, that same company (IBM) has sold the Federal government on electronic records management, food transportation management, smart energy grids, and other things I don't even know about.

What if real competition, not the half-assed attempts the last administration made, but real, unhindered competition across state lines and business SIC codes actually allowed my investment in health care to work for me?

What if, through the machinations of market and my own god-given right to choose for myself, I was able to loose myself from the need to work for company X, which I don't like anyway, because I don't fear the loss of health insurance? What if, concurrently, I can purchase appropriate coverage for myself (young, healthy, single,virile...Sorry, I digressed) that allowed me to save cash and invest it instead in things like preventative check-ups, gym membership and better food?

What if I don't want to hear about or pay for or see your problems, and want to go about my life as I feel it was intended to be? Why must I pay for and throw my lot in with yours -- did we grow up in the projects together, did I somehow push you down to elevate myself? No, by making myself better, I removed a threat and a risk from society, and I actually produced good. My rising productivity and net worth actually produce value for my neighbors -- in my lower tendencies to crime, preventable disease, unplanned pregnancy, safer driving, higher investment and lower overall risk-taking behavior.

I do not care about those people who do not WISH to help themselves, but I care about the people who do not have the ability to help themselves; the crisis pregnancy, the mentally disabled, the indigent and the orphaned are my moral responsibility, and that is why I give to Church and charity. What does government do that I cannot do more effectively on my own?

Just leave me alone. I was doing fine without you, I was doing fine without a polished public speaker for a president, I was doing fine without political masterminds and paternalistic laws.

Bingo, Prole, Goat, Mike Morgan, Spider Chick and whomever else I missed, interesting points. Bingo, I like what you said.

Rock the weights, take responsibility, take care of those around you. In the end, you and I will die, but we both will not have lived the same way.

Comment #194 - Posted by: Chris at July 22, 2009 7:38 PM

"My thoughts on health care are this: Why am I paying the same for health insurance at work as the people who go outside and take smoke breaks every 30 minutes? Why am I paying the same as 300 pound people who get winded walking to the water fountain? We need some form of a sliding scale here so those of us who work hard for our health aren't paying for those who don't."

#61 this is grossly unfair, and hard hearted, and totally correct. Thanks

Comment #195 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:39 PM

Comment #64 - Posted by: Adam 33/m/165
Congrats! Thanks for checking in.

#65 - Andy Petranek

Comment #196 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 7:42 PM

Comment #78 - Posted by: jesse
Jesse, I don't buy your stats. THe US gets better outcomes in longevity (if you factor out accidental dealth and violent crime, not relevant to HC costs) than most nations that pay less for health care, despite the horrific damage done to the health of our citizenry by US govt nutritional advice, and despite our 40%+ of socialized medicine.

I question whether these gigantic stat comparisons are meaningful. In some euro countries, the govt gets to decide when your end of life care is finished - here, we spend 25% all health care funds on the last year of life. Does that mean we're doing it wrong, even though we spend more? I don't think so, I don't want a govt dude deciding when the plug gets pulled. Kling presents some interesting ideas for how to solve this problem in "Crisis of Abundance" (a great short read btw for anyone who wants to look at how free markets might affect health care).

Comment #197 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 8:01 PM

Comment #182 - Posted by: DrEric

Dr. E, What I've seen of WHO stats is that they were designed by those who believe in the mighty STATE and they reflect that belief in their stats. I don't find that compelling. For reason I touched on in comment 200, I'm not sure they have any meaning. The US spends more BECAUSE WE CAN! Others cannot, often because of the productivity killing tax rates necessary to service their massive STATE. Further, they have different values, and make different choices, and that is reflected in what they spend.

Whether or not their STATE run health care systems accurately report their health stats, who knows.

Comment #198 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 8:08 PM

"First of all the Health Care system needs to be tweaked. The cost is increasing much faster than inflation. Granted, we have a semi-universal coverage now. Guess who pays for all the uninsured...everyone that has insurance."

Per Kling in Crisis of Abundance, 1970s level care costs now what it did in the 70s - but there are many more things they can do now that they could not do then. So the rate of increase should be compared to the rate of increase in treatment options, not absolute cost. Still, I think costs are being driving higher by many destructive govt interventions.

The uninsured don't cost much to the system - the poor get covered mostly by the 50% of citizens that pay 95% of the taxes, the 15% that don't have insurance either pay out of pocket or don't pay - some of that comes from the money that goes to private payer premiums, but when the math is done, this is NOT a significant driver of health care costs. However, Medicaid and Medicare ARE big cost drivers for those who have private insurance because they charge rates that essentially are subsidized by private insurance company payments.

Strictly on costs - we spend 25% of the total cost for end of life care the last year of life. We spend 15% on administration. We spend more on those who get preventive care and regular checkups than on those who don't. If cost the issue, the means have already been addressed above.

Comment #199 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 8:29 PM

Comment #115 - Posted by: pta

PTA - I geek out on this stuff quite a lot, and you've hit a significant point. The way our health care is paid for eliminates competition for hospitals and doctors, for price and quality. This absolutely positively drives the present consumption levels.

Comment #200 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 8:52 PM

I currently weigh 285# and have lost 30# in the last 3 months using Weight Watchers. I am serious about doing XF and was wondering how to maximize my results while still following WW. Would appreciate input from anyone that has experience with or knowledge of both programs?

- I know nothing of WW, but would recommend you think of CF as being a way to be fit, and fitness is not significantly defined by presence or absense of body fat. Most evidence shows exercise is not a significant help in long time body composition management - you cannot out train a bad diet. But if you eat enough protein and fat to sustain vigorous exercise, and eat moderate amounts of good quality carbs (minimizing grains and processed foods), you will change how you look and feel; you will feel good.

Comment #201 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 8:58 PM

"and power will accumulate in the hands of a few indidviduals and the groups that form around them. This is born out thoroughly by history"

Prole, I don't see this born out in history. These strongmen had their place before the idea of the limited republic was actualized. With the centralized, limited state, formed to defend the rights of the individual, what fear need we have of these strongmen? I'm too tired to articulate -all I'm saying is your interpretation of history and projection of how it would apply towards a reduced govt of today is only your interpretation. Plenty of people agree with you and as a result suffer all manner of predation by the STATE which does far more damage and offers far less recourse than one would have in the limited republic with a state limited to defense of rights of the individual.

This is the trick govt's have played for years - "see that bugaboo, we can protect you from it, just let us run everyting. It's only a teeny tine bit of liberty, you are not even smart enought to know what to do with it."

Comment #202 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 9:08 PM

We saw this in Canada, where we did find one area of medicine that offers easy access to cutting-edge technology -- CT scan, endoscopy, thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, etc. It was open 24/7. Patients didn't have to wait.

But you have to bark or meow to get that kind of treatment.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/01/better_health_care_97244.html

Comment #203 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 9:21 PM

Bingo
- at 142: Well put. I think you have identified the problems correctly.

- at 145: Thank you for breaking down the numbers, and helping us avoid hyperbole like "45 million with no health care". However, even if more have coverage than some might think, how do you explain the high rate of personal bankruptcies that result from illness? Perhaps having coverage is not enough, perhaps quality of coverage is equally important.

- at 146: started to read it, thanks for the summary at 169.

- at 169: All very convincing. Health, and not health care should be the paramount concern. What do we do in the meantime with people who have obesity, nicotine, alcohol-related diseases? Does government have a role to play in fostering health?

- at 176: Won't argue with tort reform. When you speak of defensive medicine, do mean care that is outside the level of care that a Doctor, in her expert opinion, would consider appropriate? If so this sounds reasonable to me. Do you think Doctors are equipped to make decisions about what is appropriate or not in borderline cases where a person's life is on the line, where indeed the extra test might save them, or might just be a waste of money? Perhaps I am ignorant, and there are a list of tests (dozens, hundreds, thousands) that can do most of the heavy diagnostic work, and then a list of tests (even larger) that really are aimed at fine-tuning diagnoses and provide little value for the money.

- at 184, Your number 4 sounds very reasonable to me. Does this get you some level of diagnostic?

- at 187, take it as a compliment :).

Apolloswabbie
- at 133, I think my thoughts in response to Bingo at 176 belatedly echo yours. I agree some numbers or other indicators to give a sense of how readily the defensive medicine excesses could be reduced without sacrificing care would be helpful.

- at 134, In response to the link you posted - just because TennCare didn't work doesn't mean a system where the US gov't funds a higher percentage than it does now (say %50 more) couldn't provide savings. Consider the figures I quote below to compare Canada and US per capta expenditures on health care.

- at 137, I agree it is wasteful for the gov't to require policies to cover things like treatment for alcoholism where a policy-holder is likely never to become an alcoholic. What would happen where the state itself provides the service, is that the state would look at the numbers and allot X amount of dollars to alcoholism treatment on the basis that in any given year Y amount of people would require alcoholism treatment. Of course it would either be over funded or under-funded to some extent, but it would not be wildly over-funded as it is where the state requires everyone to carry insurance for it.

- at 178, I think your point was that even though companies may develop new drugs in the context of government set prices, they will develop fewer? I agree that any extra cost in developing a drug, or any diminishment in the potential price a company can charge for the drug will have a downward effect on innovation. But I wonder if this would not be offset by the value-added elements of government contracts - wide distribution, certainty, long-term business planning.

-at 179, Admittedly my concern is often with the value I get for paying my taxes, not with the fact that I am paying them at all. So I worry about people who pay thousands of dollars a year into a forced insurance scheme (taxes) and can't get their knees fixed. This is a major, major problem. Especially if we consider that if an eye patient had put all his tax dollars allocated to fund government health care into a private insurance, he would likely have been able to pay for his surgery with Doctor Bingo. I've seen numbers of $400-500 per month mentioned in today's discussion as insurance costs in the US. That trantlates into 4800-6k per year (after taxes significantly higher) - lets say 5-7k. Now, I wonder if I'm paying that much in taxes in Canada for my Provincial/federal Big Brother Care Provider (health care is a provincial matter in Canada, though partly funded by the Feds), and I wonder, would my level of care for 5-7k in insurance be any better than whatever it is I'm paying in taxes in Canada. I don't know.

But, this assumes I'm wealthy enough to pay the 5-7k in insurance (or the 2-3k for a lesser policy, or anything at all).

As far as the US subsidizing Canada by providing a secure world in which it can trade and prosper, well, that may be the case (likely is), but it doesn't explain why, on a per capita basis the 40% public US system costs more than the %70 public Canadian system.

Apollo
- no way I can keep up. off to bed. good show all.
- I'll just ask you about 200 - are you certain that you have enough money to have the machine plugged in in the first place? do you know a hardworking, good-natured bloke that doesn't?
- I agree with you at 205. My point to Goat (I think it was, perhaps not) was that in that robust limited republican arrangement the legislature has a role to place, a crucial one (as crucial as the executive and the judiciary) and sometimes it may upset folks who disagree with it (like voting for more state health care). That doesn't mean the system is broken.
- Now really. I'm done.


Here are some "numbers" I've pulled from Wikipedia (I can't vouche for their accuracy and formatting may be f'd):

Canada US
%gdp spent 10 15
on health care

annual $ 3700 6700
per capita

% financed 70 46
by govt

+/- % gov't +23
per cap exp

Life expectancy 80.3 78.6
(yrs)

The WHO ranks Canada higher (30) than the US (37) in "overall health service performance" but ranked US highest (1) in responsiveness. Health care costs in both countries are rising faster than inflation.

Comment #204 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 9:23 PM

Bingo
- at 142: Well put. I think you have identified the problems correctly.

- at 145: Thank you for breaking down the numbers, and helping us avoid hyperbole like "45 million with no health care". However, even if more have coverage than some might think, how do you explain the high rate of personal bankruptcies that result from illness? Perhaps having coverage is not enough, perhaps quality of coverage is equally important.

- at 146: started to read it, thanks for the summary at 169.

- at 169: All very convincing. Health, and not health care should be the paramount concern. What do we do in the meantime with people who have obesity, nicotine, alcohol-related diseases? Does government have a role to play in fostering health?

- at 176: Won't argue with tort reform. When you speak of defensive medicine, do mean care that is outside the level of care that a Doctor, in her expert opinion, would consider appropriate? If so this sounds reasonable to me. Do you think Doctors are equipped to make decisions about what is appropriate or not in borderline cases where a person's life is on the line, where indeed the extra test might save them, or might just be a waste of money? Perhaps I am ignorant, and there are a list of tests (dozens, hundreds, thousands) that can do most of the heavy diagnostic work, and then a list of tests (even larger) that really are aimed at fine-tuning diagnoses and provide little value for the money.

- at 184, Your number 4 sounds very reasonable to me. Does this get you some level of diagnostic?

- at 187, take it as a compliment :).

Apolloswabbie
- at 133, I think my thoughts in response to Bingo at 176 belatedly echo yours. I agree some numbers or other indicators to give a sense of how readily the defensive medicine excesses could be reduced without sacrificing care would be helpful.

- at 134, In response to the link you posted - just because TennCare didn't work doesn't mean a system where the US gov't funds a higher percentage than it does now (say %50 more) couldn't provide savings. Consider the figures I quote below to compare Canada and US per capta expenditures on health care.

- at 137, I agree it is wasteful for the gov't to require policies to cover things like treatment for alcoholism where a policy-holder is likely never to become an alcoholic. What would happen where the state itself provides the service, is that the state would look at the numbers and allot X amount of dollars to alcoholism treatment on the basis that in any given year Y amount of people would require alcoholism treatment. Of course it would either be over funded or under-funded to some extent, but it would not be wildly over-funded as it is where the state requires everyone to carry insurance for it.

- at 178, I think your point was that even though companies may develop new drugs in the context of government set prices, they will develop fewer? I agree that any extra cost in developing a drug, or any diminishment in the potential price a company can charge for the drug will have a downward effect on innovation. But I wonder if this would not be offset by the value-added elements of government contracts - wide distribution, certainty, long-term business planning.

-at 179, Admittedly my concern is often with the value I get for paying my taxes, not with the fact that I am paying them at all. So I worry about people who pay thousands of dollars a year into a forced insurance scheme (taxes) and can't get their knees fixed. This is a major, major problem. Especially if we consider that if an eye patient had put all his tax dollars allocated to fund government health care into a private insurance, he would likely have been able to pay for his surgery with Doctor Bingo. I've seen numbers of $400-500 per month mentioned in today's discussion as insurance costs in the US. That trantlates into 4800-6k per year (after taxes significantly higher) - lets say 5-7k. Now, I wonder if I'm paying that much in taxes in Canada for my Provincial/federal Big Brother Care Provider (health care is a provincial matter in Canada, though partly funded by the Feds), and I wonder, would my level of care for 5-7k in insurance be any better than whatever it is I'm paying in taxes in Canada. I don't know.

But, this assumes I'm wealthy enough to pay the 5-7k in insurance (or the 2-3k for a lesser policy, or anything at all).

As far as the US subsidizing Canada by providing a secure world in which it can trade and prosper, well, that may be the case (likely is), but it doesn't explain why, on a per capita basis the 40% public US system costs more than the %70 public Canadian system.

Apollo
- no way I can keep up. off to bed. good show all.
- I'll just ask you about 200 - are you certain that you have enough money to have the machine plugged in in the first place? do you know a hardworking, good-natured bloke that doesn't?
- I agree with you at 205. My point to Goat (I think it was, perhaps not) was that in that robust limited republican arrangement the legislature has a role to place, a crucial one (as crucial as the executive and the judiciary) and sometimes it may upset folks who disagree with it (like voting for more state health care). That doesn't mean the system is broken.
- Now really. I'm done.

Comment #205 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 9:23 PM

To Bingo and Apollo - I don't expect answers to any of the questions I asked in my final (now next to final post). Perhaps next time.

Comment #206 - Posted by: Prole at July 22, 2009 9:26 PM

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/08/insurance_is_no_answer_97344.html

More insurance means more cost - not less.

Comment #207 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 9:29 PM

Comment #136 - Posted by: Bleicke at July 22, 2009 2:06 PM
Interesting post - I have copied to my blog. Thanks.

Comment #208 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 9:37 PM

Please tell me why Prez Obama wants to jack with health care for the 85% of Americans that have insurance? And according to Bingo the real number of uninsured not counting the willing uninsured is less than 10%. I believe some tweakings, also by Bingo, would work.

Comment #209 - Posted by: trace at July 22, 2009 10:11 PM

One more and I'm out for tonight.

First, Dr. E and Bingo and several others agreed on one sonspicous point - our 'health care system' spends a lot of money to fix problems created by our poor diets and lifestyles.

Wonder how that would work out in a govt run program - do you think the do-gooders would be in an even bigger hurry to regulate what you eat/drink? They'd certainly have the justification - "I pay for the consequences, I have a right to force you to eat right."

Lastly, in the socialist, collectivist, statist mindset, humans are a liability. They have rights all of which create a drain on the resources available. Human life is the problem - especially, too much of it. As per the Matrix, "you humans are a virus."

In the capitalist mindset, humans are an asset. Each can employ their comparative advantage in the market place to earn their keep by providing something someone else values - values enough to pay for it. In capitalism, productivity rises and wealth, both in total and from bottom to top, risis. One person's success does not imply another's failure - because exchange is mutual, both sides get something desired, both are better off.

When I heard the President discussing whether and aged patient should get the in depth surgery or just the pain pill, I couldn't help but hear that point - "that old lady is just a liability, and we need to minimize it to save health care."

There's no easy way around the massive cost of end of life care - Kling makes the best thought experiments about how it might be done - but the idea of a bureaucrat paid to make that decision ... do we want to cede this kind of power to those who solve problems with coercion (that being the most creative tool govt has for problem solving)? Paul

Comment #210 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 10:17 PM

Socialst mindset is that human beings are liabilities.

Ok, in the Capitalist system human beings become a liabitly to the capitalists when ask for anything (wages, health care, drinking water, transportation, police)at a rate higher than would allow the capitalist to make a profit, not even, at a rate that would diminish the capitalist's profit.

If you think that the capitalist likes these things at a higher rate because it makes for better, more productive workers and more efficient production, why would that not be the same for the state (funded by taxes) that wants better, more productive workers and more efficient production in order to have a larger tax base with which to fund programs for its citizens (liability).

When an insurance company is faced with a claim by a policy holder, that company views the policy holder as a liability

Comment #211 - Posted by: Prole at July 23, 2009 5:08 AM

Eric at July 22, 2009 5:11 PM

It is an interesting article, but it just reinforces the point made in the original article.
"In the case of health care, the fact that we spend so much more on it now is largely a positive. The negative part is if some, or a lot, of that spending is wasteful. Of course, that is mostly the government’s fault and is not the part on which the socialists want you to focus."

Comment #212 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 5:28 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 2:16 PM

Your basic statements are correct, your conclusion is wrong. Rights exist, unless you can prove that you are me and I am you, in which case I would not be entirely me, and therefor not entitled to run my own life. The point of recognizing the three basic human rights is to draw the line on how far the "war" (basically competition for limited resources) may be ethically and legally prosecuted. A true recognition of those rights guides government in the making and enforcing of human law.

You have often spoken of the Constitution and it's framers with respect, but you never mention that our current "leaders" completely ignore the Constitution. Completely. Socialized medicine is theft. It's a violation of the Constitution. What we have now isn't a government, it's a parasitic class made up of those who tell the prettiest lies to an uninformed and tired public, in order to reap maximum personal power.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Constitution is a seriously flawed document. It needs revision, and I'd be happy to do it when I get done replying to all the comments here. I also agree with Lysander, it isn't legally binding, and the courts which derive their power from it would throw out any other document which claimed to be binding upon me based on the signatures of men two hundred years dead. What other unsigned (by the affected parties, that is), 200+ year old contract is enforcable?

Comment #213 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 5:45 AM

Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 22, 2009 2:09 PM

"One, they pay less because they don't have it to pay, so the comparison is not valid. As for the results, I ask you to cite the ones you think are significant. Most of the comprehensive reports I've seen are built by socialists (meaning those who believe the the coercive power of the STATE is the key to all things good) trying to justify either their nation's socialist systems or justify the US giving up its 50% socialist system for one even more dominated and frocked up by the govt. These reports start with socialist assumptions and support socialist conclusions."


Someone once posted a link on strenghtmill.net "proving" that socialized medicine performed better than free market medicine. The link led to some rankings of different country's health care systems put out by the W.H.O. (an agency with a socialist agenda, so right from the start a suspicious study). I read the fine print. One of the main criteria for ranking the countries was... (drumroll) ... how SOCIALIZED the system was. That's right, ladies and gents, we can "prove" that a certain system works better than all others by doing a study where one of the main criteria to be met is the use of our pet system. Good science, there.

Comment #214 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 5:59 AM

Wanted to rest; but walked 4 miles on the treadmill and burned 433 calories.

Comment #215 - Posted by: FrankyTyler at July 23, 2009 6:15 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 5:00 PM

"In response to the approaching failure of the two tier system in German, perhaps it is simply the case the German policy makers don't know how to do it right."

This reminds me of something jakers said to me, some weeks back, "Why do socialists, when socialism fails, always fall back on saying 'if only we had the right people in charge'. The free market doesn't need 'the right people', it just works"

Comment #216 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 6:19 AM

Prole #213:

"If you think that the capitalist likes these things at a higher rate because it makes for better, more productive workers and more efficient production, why would that not be the same for the state (funded by taxes) that wants better, more productive workers and more efficient production in order to have a larger tax base with which to fund programs for its citizens (liability)."

If that were true a government would do everything in its power to increase it's tax YIELD in order to maximize the funds available to enact its benevolence, oui? One therefore has a very hard time explaining the strategy of increasing taxes on the highest earners, a strategy that has always resulted in a decrease in tax revenue, rather than lowering marginal rates on high earners which has always resulted in increased revenue; one also strains to explain POTUS's response when this was pointed out, that it was not the maximizing of tax revenue that was most important but making the tax code "more fair" that was paramount.

You would never hear this from the mouth of a capitalist.

Thanks for your kind response to my previous posts.

Comment #217 - Posted by: bingo at July 23, 2009 6:23 AM

dan m at July 22, 2009 5:20 PM

"Come on people. I bet you are the same ones who argue that since you yourselves don't have children you shouldn't have to pay for schools."

Guilty as charged.

"What about military protection from foreign invaders, perhaps we should stop paying for that and instead we can all buy our own guns, ammo, etc..."

Oh, is that we have bases in dozens of countries, to protect the Motherland from invaders?

"Along the same lines maybe we should do away with paying for the police, I have multiple guns, I can defend myself and those who don't can go F*&^ themselves."

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the police do NOT have to protect you. They are not obligated to even show up when you call. Who's left to protect you?

"You know I have a car with all-wheel drive, lets do away with the highway department."

Why don't we let private industry give it a try?


"Heck, lets just do away with the government altogether, they just impinge on my rights anyway. Wait a second that sounds like anarchy..."

Interesting idea. I'm willing to explore it further with you.

"While I agree that I should not have to pay for the smokers, the boozers, the junkies and the fatties, I am willing to cover them if it means I am also paying for the 5 year old kid with lymphoma, the single mom with a congenital heart defect and the 78 year old woman who, after years of paying her taxes, develops ovarian cancer."

Go ahead then, you don't need government to give them your money, you can do that yourself.

Comment #218 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 6:23 AM

Goat - exactly, thanks. Paul

Comment #219 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 23, 2009 6:38 AM

"the problem with socialism is, eventually you will run out of other peoples money"
--unknown

Comment #220 - Posted by: justin at July 23, 2009 7:16 AM

"Ok, in the Capitalist system human beings become a liabitly to the capitalists when ask for anything (wages, health care, drinking water, transportation, police)at a rate higher than would allow the capitalist to make a profit, not even, at a rate that would diminish the capitalist's profit.

If you think that the capitalist likes these things at a higher rate because it makes for better, more productive workers and more efficient production, why would that not be the same for the state (funded by taxes) that wants better, more productive workers and more efficient production in order to have a larger tax base with which to fund programs for its citizens (liability).

When an insurance company is faced with a claim by a policy holder, that company views the policy holder as a liability"

In a capitalist system, all contracts are voluntary. Both sides are capitalists and both see the other party's claim on their services as a liability and the other party's payment of services as a receivable. The difference between capitalism and socialism is that under a socialist system, these contracts are initiated by force in order to benefit those with political pull at the expense of those without.

Comment #221 - Posted by: Neil at July 23, 2009 7:21 AM

Prole at July 23, 2009 5:08 AM

It seems you see this "Capitalist" in the same light as the "State". But if my dirty capitalist employer won't give me the raise I feel I deserve, I can go to the MANY, MANY other filthy, corrupt, greedy capitalist dogs in my industry and see if they will pay me what I want. Some may see me as an asset rather than a liability, and pony up. If I worked for an all-providing State, I don't get that option. There is only one State, and it's opinion will be law. Of course, maybe I voted for a few of the bosses, and maybe I voted against, but it means they "represent" me (where I would rather represent myself), so it's all good, right?

Comment #222 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 7:25 AM

Wow, finally caught up.

Comment #223 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 7:40 AM

"Go ahead then, you don't need government to give them your money, you can do that yourself."

Nice, Goat, couldn't agree more.

But for some that isn't enough so they call around and try to get you to donate, that's a NGO, i.e. organized charity, nothing wrong with that either. Every heartstring that Prole, and others, has pulled to get you to agree with a socialized healthcare" is solved perfectly, and perhaps better, with such organizations. A variety of such organizations could compete and allow for various models of treatments, like low fat or low carb, and allow the individuals involved to make their choice about which to use and donate to.

The thing is the US government is supposed to represent the people. The market also does this very well; when market forces suffice through the idea of “dollar voting” the government shouldn’t get involved. This goes for healthcare, the environment, etc.

Again are any of us going to like govt mandated statins and other healthful recommendation that we all know don’t work? Will refusal reject you from further services? It might and most likely will.

“I’m sorry penty but you refused the mandated care of statins and the recommendation of a low fat diet so you can’t get _____ due to being a non-conformist”.

“But doc I’ve done my own research and statins and low-fat diet aren’t effective.”

“No, see I push this button and it says to prescribe statins. If I don’t push the “conforms” button you’re basically locked out”.


Comment #224 - Posted by: penty at July 23, 2009 7:51 AM

penty at July 23, 2009 7:51 AM

Yes, the free market acts as a representative agent for people as well. Good point. Simply put, even in a totally free society, everybody isn't going to get everything they want. But I think the market is the best representative, because it allows you to get what you want on an issue, and me to get what I want, or something close to it for both of us, at the same time. It will satify more people's desires more closely than any government ever could.

It also doesn't fight "wars" to solve problems which aren't necessarily problems. Take poverty, and the war on it. Sure, some people are in bad conditions, have a hard time getting out, life is tough for them. But (and living in a depressed area, I am familiar with this) most of the people I know who are below the arbitrary "poverty level" are there because they have found a balance between what they want to have and how much effort they are willing to put into it. Sure, they would love the trappings of the rich life, but they don't want them badly enough to work any harder for them. They have found their level and are happy there, and more power to them. All of us should be so satisfied.

Again, these make up the majority of the "poor" around me. Do we need a national "war" against them? Is this the source of class-warfare rhetoric I hear and see in the news, these generally happy people, who would turn their noses up at executive pay if it meant they had to sit in an office eight hours a day?

And there is the problem. We have a national war on poverty because a few people decided that these people needed help they mostly do not want, and not only were they (our "representatives") going to "help" (great lot of help they've been, by the way), but that you, and I, and everyone else was going to "help", too. We don't have an option, and neither do the recipients of the aid. They are willing to use force to make us help. Net effect: evil.

Comment #225 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 8:12 AM

Neil at July 23, 2009 7:21 AM

"In a capitalist system, all contracts are voluntary. Both sides are capitalists and both see the other party's claim on their services as a liability and the other party's payment of services as a receivable. The difference between capitalism and socialism is that under a socialist system, these contracts are initiated by force in order to benefit those with political pull at the expense of those without."


A related but important point is that, in a free-trade situation, the exchange of goods between two parties is a net gain for both, or they wouldn't make the exchange. Again, the exchange of goods between two parties is a net gain for both, or they wouldn't make the exchange.

No bureaucrat needs to anazlyze it, review it, approve it, compare it to a list of standards, or do any other thing. If my apple is worth more to you than your tomato, and vice versa, we exchange and we both win. This illusion that capitalism is cold-hearted, and based in theft, is a construct of socialists; it simply isn't true. The illusion that "labor" is a different class than "management" is the same. Labor and management sell services, just like a salesman sells furniture. It's not about class, it's about what product you offer. But class warfare serves certain purposes, it's a nice red herring.

The real difference is that, in a socialist system, someone besides me decides what will benefit me, when I get it, how much I will get, and what it will cost me. No thanks.

Comment #226 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 8:39 AM

Comment #213 - Posted by: Prole:
“Ok, in the Capitalist system human beings become a liability to the capitalists when ask for anything (wages, health care, drinking water, transportation, police)at a rate higher than would allow the capitalist to make a profit, not even, at a rate that would diminish the capitalist's profit.”

-Yes, but there’s a significant difference, an enormous difference, an apples to oranges difference. Since employers and employees are in a cooperative relationship, each entitled only to what other has agreed in previous negotiations, whether the employer views the employee as a liability or an asset, the options the employer has are constrained by the terms of employment. Who constrains the power of the State? Look at how difficult it is to modify and/or improve or, would that they could even try, restructure the model when it is clear that it cannot function properly. All parties are locked in and the State enforces the terms – which were defined before most of us were even born and the only consent that we have is that we don’t leave the country – at gun point.

As for ‘asking anything at a rate higher than would allow the cpa to make a profit’ – first off, rightly so. Profits are a symptom of efficiency, of wealth creation (at essence wealth creation means getting more goods for equal or lesser amount of human life energy spent). Profits are equal to improved living standards, more free time, more security, longer lives, more liberty, and virtually all that modern persons value. The alternative is the moribund economy of the statists – eg Iran, N Korea.

The capitalist is a person who employs capital goods to transform inputs (raw materials, information, you name it) from lesser valued to higher valued uses (in other words, transforming steel, aluminum etc and make a car).

Or the capitalist is the employee, who seeks to transform their time (lesser valued) for compensation (wages, training, HC – something more valued than the employee’s time aka life energy).

If the employer capitalist offers to employ the worker capitalist, the WC may agree to take the employment or not. What rate is the free man WC entitled to ask for? Any rate he would like to ask for. What rate is the free man WC entitled to demand from the employer? No rate – they either reach mutual terms of employment or they go their separate ways. Health care, drinking water, transportation, police – these are not germane to the discussion. It is up to the free men and women in question to decide if their govt will be involved in these functions, but that’s not a function of capitalism per se. It’s an entirely different discussion. If they choose to have a socialist system – ceding their liberty to the State to permit the employment of State coercion – to ‘provide’ drinking water or transportation, then we’re back to the circumstance of the free person becoming a liability and all of the unpleasant incentives that creates.

Prole: “If you think that the capitalist likes these things at a higher rate because it makes for better, more productive workers and more efficient production, why would that not be the same for the state (funded by taxes) that wants better, more productive workers and more efficient production in order to have a larger tax base with which to fund programs for its citizens (liability).”

-I am unconcerned with the capitalist motive. Motive is a constant in all humans, self interest (aka greed). The difference is that for the capitalist to satisfy her motive, she must provide something to the market place which others desire, on terms others would accept. Want to hire someone? You must offer terms that are better than others the potential employee has presently. Want to keep a good employee? Better treat them better than the competition. Want to get someone else’s money? You must offer a product/service which exceeds the value of the others in the market. Why someone does that is of no consequence, but of course, it is for self interest, just as in the case of the socialist. The difference is that the socialist uses for her tool coercion, the capitalist has only cooperation with which to work.

As for the question of whether the State desires more productive workers, of course it would, but it cannot provide this. There are two reasons, one being that the State does not have sufficient information to organize things more efficiently, and two being that the State makes decisions about how to coerce people based on political motives. In other words, the politician’s motive is still self interest (aka greed), but the politician employs coercion in order to gain 51% of the vote. What is done to get the 51% does not generally, perhaps never, result in efficiency and productivity. The outcome of the politician’s work is generally not apparent until after she has left office, and often enough it is never apparent. The politician’s consequence for improper employment of coercion (negative eventualities such as the insolvent status of medicare) is nothing – the politicians to blame for medicare are no where to be found. The pols who wish to clean up the mess now will be long gone when the chickens come home to roost for whatever they use the coercive power of the state to accomplish (try to accomplish?). If medicare were a capitalist endeavor, it would fail, and be replaced in the market place by a more effective (if equally greedy) competitor. As a govt program, no degree of underperformance will be enough for the politicians to kill it – until it is in their self interest to kill it, perhaps when Americans decide they really do value liberty?

Prole: “When an insurance company is faced with a claim by a policy holder, that company views the policy holder as a liability”
- And rightly so. But it is also a chance to earn the business of other policy holders by living up to the agreement established cooperatively with the policy holder. It is a chance to earn more profits by earning a reputation for living up to agreements and satisfying customer needs. In other words, self interest (greed) demands that the business entity excel at providing the good it offers. Businesses that fail in this endeavor fail and are eliminated (unless resuscitated by the State, eg GM). The difference again boils down to state coercion v individual cooperation.

I choose cooperation (liberty) as the better option for pragmatic and idealistic reasons.

Comment #227 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 23, 2009 9:06 AM

Prole: "As far as the US subsidizing Canada by providing a secure world in which it can trade and prosper, well, that may be the case (likely is), but it doesn't explain why, on a per capita basis the 40% public US system costs more than the %70 public Canadian system."

I think I've already answered this one, but the answer is, we spend it because we have it to spend. I think we have it to spend primarily from our participation in the global system of trade, through property rights/rule of law and economic liberty. As we deviate from those, our wealth, and ability to pay more for health care, will decline.

Because our citizenry are only 40-50% of a health care liability (as seen by the State), it is not a negative if the 50% spends 'more' on their care, to the extent that they choose to spend it.

In fact, if govt were not hip deep in the problem, no one would be talking about how much it costs. The fact that humans are a 'liability' in the eyes of the state drives the entire discussion to terms of cost.

Existing govt interventions however muddy the matter by insulating HC consumers from the cost of their care and therefore the costs of their choices about health. In this sense, the 50% that are free still don't get to choose their care.

Prole: "at 134, In response to the link you posted - just because TennCare didn't work doesn't mean a system where the US gov't funds a higher percentage than it does now (say %50 more) couldn't provide savings. Consider the figures I quote below to compare Canada and US per capta expenditures on health care."
--In govt care, the only savings are coercion, first in coercing others by law in purchasing transactions, and coercing consumers in what care they can or cannot get. The primary means of saving is rationing. As the KSW article points out, and as Kling goes deeply into in Crisis of Abundance, rationing is unavoidable. It is not possible to provide all the theoretical care to all the theoretical consumers. The options are rationing by govt coercion, with all the appertaining negative eventualities, or rationing by choice and cooperation; humans employing all their creativity to get the care they think they, and their loved ones, and the public at large, should get.

I appreciate the dialogue, Prole, it serves to teach all participants. Thanks all for the good links provided today, I will make good use of them.

Comment #228 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074 203 45 yoa at July 23, 2009 9:28 AM

We should once again make it illegal to advertise pharmaceuticals directly to the public.

Medical costs have risen dramatically since 1997 when drug companies were able to directly market to consumers.

The drugs that someone takes should be determined by their doctor, not by an uninformed patient.

Comment #229 - Posted by: Bryan Wheelock at July 23, 2009 9:48 AM

Bryan Wheelock at July 23, 2009 9:48 AM

Sorry, I disagree. I own my body. Big pharma owns the drugs. IF they want to sell to me, then it's between us, and IF I decide to put the drugs in me, that's between nobody. Government permission or coercion, with or without doctors, is not part of that equation.

If you live by what you wrote, then you should also have your doctor or dietician prescribe your food and liquid intake for you, since that can have a huge effect on the quality and quantity of your years on this planet. Perhaps, also, your activity should be dictated by an exercise physiologist, or some other "expert". Very important stuff, you know, exercise. Too important to be left to an uninformed patient.

Hmmm, maybe there could be a test you could take, to prove you were informed enough to make these decisions for yourself, and not need prescriptions, yes? Maybe we could expand that test to all parts of your life, so that you would have to prove you were capable of making any important decision, or else some "expert" will make it for you. I mean, the type of car you drive and how you drive it can, in truth, be a series of life-or-death decisions. Hiking in the woods can be extremely dangerous to anyone without orienteering skills, or who is not fit enough to get back out (or not good at estimating how fit he is). There should definitely be a hiking prescription. Who would administer that?

Comment #230 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 10:00 AM

Prole at July 22, 2009 2:16 PM
Your basic statements are correct, your conclusion is wrong. Rights exist, unless you can prove that you are me and I am you, in which case I would not be entirely me, and therefor not entitled to run my own life. The point of recognizing the three basic human rights is to draw the line on how far the "war" (basically competition for limited resources) may be ethically and legally prosecuted. A true recognition of those rights guides government in the making and enforcing of human law.
You have often spoken of the Constitution and it's framers with respect, but you never mention that our current "leaders" completely ignore the Constitution. Completely. Socialized medicine is theft. It's a violation of the Constitution. What we have now isn't a government, it's a parasitic class made up of those who tell the prettiest lies to an uninformed and tired public, in order to reap maximum personal power.
Now, don't get me wrong, the Constitution is a seriously flawed document. It needs revision, and I'd be happy to do it when I get done replying to all the comments here. I also agree with Lysander, it isn't legally binding, and the courts which derive their power from it would throw out any other document which claimed to be binding upon me based on the signatures of men two hundred years dead. What other unsigned (by the affected parties, that is), 200+ year old contract is enforcable?
Goat,

You’ve raised a number of philosophical/legal/political issues that interest me, but I will only deal with one (I’ll address the others in cheap shots in paragraphs 4 and 5).

WHETHER THE CONSTITUTION IS LEGALLY OR MORALLY BINDING ON ANY LIVING PERSON.

1. I agree there is a sense in which people who were never given the opportunity to vote in favour or against the Constitution should not be bound by it. If I remember correctly, some of those who wrote the Constitution believed that there should be a Constitutional convention every generation. The reason? Values and challenges change. So, if you want a Constitutional convention to be held on July 1, 2010, you run the risk of having your fellow Americans write a Constitution recognizing a right to “security of the person” (Canada) or “a free basic education at a public school” (Sweeden) etc.

2. I have to say I like the idea of tearing open the Constitution periodically so that it legitimately reflects the political bargain people are willing to make with each other and the type of governance structure (whether big or small) they want. But it also makes me nervous for the uncertainty it would create.

3. Would it be an annual thing? Every 5 years? Every 20? Every 50? I might go for 30- 50 years. A long generation, or two short generations. Every Constitution could have an amending formula that would allow amendments at short intervals. If, you voted on the articles of a new Constitution, would you then consider yourself legally and morally bound by even those portions of the Constitution you did not favour?

4. Do you think the laws you favour are “natural laws” that are so fundamental that once passed (by you and your generation) they bind every following generation regardless of what new rights and arrangements these generations approve at their own Constitutional Conventions? There is nothing in Aristotle, Aquinas, Pufendorf, Locke or Nozick (this last author will not be remembered like the others) that, in my mind, could be used to counter Hume or Bentham on the lack of empirical foundation for natural rights and natural law. In my mind, these things are rhetorical devices, very useful (thankfully so) for holding dictators to account, and for convincing fellow citizens (and fellow human beings, fellow animals?) that dictators should be held to account.

5. If you have any intention of responding to what I have said, please focus on the paragraphs preceding the last (I know we disagree seriously on the metaphysical status of natural law and natural rights – “nonsense upon stilts” as Bentham said). I also won’t ask you why, in your empirical survey of natural rights (they are out there to be discovered are they not?) you find only three, and not four or five, or sixty-two?

6. I’m interested in (a) whether you think whole-sale constitutional renewal is a good idea, and (b) your first impressions on how it might be done, timing, what would make it legitimate, could it bind those who were able to participate in its renewal (vote or otherwise?) but in the end did not approve of the finished document?

Haven’t read the Lysander – am taking two days holiday soon and will steal an hour or so from the wife to do so.


[Additional comments to address the prolific responses of my fellow rest day nut-bars:
(caveat to those who have brought up the nature of a “free bargain” and “consent”, I’ve only touched on them, they await another rest day)
- Goat – 218 – How many times do you think I’ve heard free marketeers complain that the market hasn’t been allowed to run properly? The same goes for policy implementation.
- Bingo – 219 – The government has multiple priorities – not just the increase of tax revenues. The government would like to avoid class warfare, general strikes (see 1940s), and it would like to get elected. It’s not nearly perfect, in many cases it may not even be good, like the market it should not be scrapped because it doesn’t work in all cases.
- Neil – 223 – define “voluntary” – for another day?
- Goat 224 – I do not favour socialism. I do not favour a single employer system. I favour minimums and collective bargaining rights. We are not talking about wages today, but health care. If there was no minimum of the type described by Bingo at point 4 at post 184, many people would be left with no alternative. They are priced out of health care. You say they should work harder? Perhaps many should, but many will not realistically have the opportunity to do so. The evil of providing a minimum of health care to some lazy folks is less than the evil of providing substandard healthcare to the industrious poor, the disabled etc.
- 228 – “exchange of goods between two parties is a net gain for both, or they wouldn't make the exchange”. Your point is a trivial one. The non-trivial criterion for whether an exchange is just is whether it is exploitative. Here are three ways in which exchange can be exploitative: (1) a person is not paid the value of the service they provide (value is not the price of labour, but the product of labour) [both capitalist and government boss can exploit here], (2) where perfect competition is absent, [both employer and employee can be an exploiter depending on the circumstances, and the state is] (3) a free loader receives services/goods she has not paid for (taxes) (this is a serious ubiquitous problem), (4) where a person will starve, be shot or suffer some other serious privation if she does not immediately accept the terms of the “bargain” offered by the capitalist or the government boss.
- Apollo - 229 – the voters, the law and the courts constrain the power of the state.
- Apollo 230 – US spends more money per capita on health care not because it has more money to spend, but because it has to spend more money to get service equal to that provided in Canada (because its system is even more inefficient than the inefficient system in Canada).

Comment #231 - Posted by: Prole at July 23, 2009 10:12 AM

Prole at July 23, 2009 10:12 AM

I will reply piecemeal. I'm more digestible that way.

"The evil of providing a minimum of health care to some lazy folks is less than the evil of providing substandard healthcare to the industrious poor, the disabled etc."

You mistake me. I have no problem providing health care to the industrious poor, the disabled, etc. In fact, despite losing nearly 40% of my paycheck to taxes and regulatory costs and fees various and sundry, I still voluntarily donate to charities. Pass the hat around, we all will spare a buck or two for these folks.

I have a problem with you or your "representative" or his agent telling me that I will provide, and how much I will provide, and what I will accept, and how much, and what options I will be "allowed" to pursue, and what I won't.

Comment #232 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 10:25 AM

Prole at July 23, 2009 10:12 AM

#4, by the way, is simple. It is based in ownership. If you feel that you can own me, that it is morally acceptable to own me, then yes, everything I say about rights will be bogus to you.

As long as I own me, that is, as long as my mind and body are my own, then the right to life, and to liberty are intrinsic. And instinctive. Who doesn't instinctively try to preserve his life? Who doesn't instinctively make his own decisions about what he should and should not do, even if he has been trained to do what someone else tells him? The rights to life and to liberty are pretty obvious. And labor. If man owns his mind, and his body, he is responsible for, and owner of, the actions he takes, a.k.a., his labor.

Property Locke deals with. You've read him, and are familiar with the acorns, I am sure. Realize that no man is created to be master, to be owner, of anyone but himself, and you realize that no man intrinsicly owns resources. Resources are communal, there to be utilized, but in a natural state, they are practically worthless. The acorn on the ground does nobody any good. It is the utilization, the application of his labor, which gives value to the resource. When he gathers the acorn, and grinds it into flour, it is now useful, it is valuable, due primarily to his labor.

If his labor is the primary value of the product, who else would this belong to, but him? Naturally, what unused resources he can apply his labor to are his, by right. If he chooses to sell these resources, he trades the value of his labor for other value. Those resources then belong to the other party, and whatever he traded for is now his, and his alone. This is the foundation of property rights.

They are natural, because they exist naturally. We don't need them written down. We naturally try to protect our lives. We naturally want to make our own decisions (any parent will tell you how natural it is). Watch children interact; they understand "mine" and "yours". They instinctively understand that there is only one water pistol, and it has to belong to someone, and that sharing only works if both of them WANT to share.

When someone can use reason to demonstrate to me that there are more than three, I will change my number. Concensus and voting won't change what I see in front of me.

Comment #233 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 10:53 AM

I've been thinking about getting into CrossFit at a local affiliate in my hometown but is this right-wing rubbish what CrossFit is about? This just makes a bunch of crazy claims that are not backed up with any bit of reality! What a joke. I'm sick of politics on both ends of the spectrum but this is a very disgusting example of a right-winger using scare tactics to ram his warped agenda driven opinion down our throats.

Comment #234 - Posted by: griz at July 23, 2009 11:00 AM

Prole:"The evil of providing a minimum of health care to some lazy folks is less than the evil of providing substandard healthcare to the industrious poor, the disabled etc."

That statement is a judgment by you; it is by no means an absolute that everyone should be held to. Again if you feel that way go nuts, donate or whatever. You somehow feel your values supersede mine, whereas I make no such claim, and should enforce your relative viewpoint by force of law. Keeping your hand out of my pocket is an idea continues to elude you, why this is so is beyond me; I mean seriously I’m not that good looking.

Prole: "US spends more money per capita on health care not because it has more money to spend, but because it has to spend more money to get service equal to that provided in Canada"

Nonsense. In the US waiting for treatments/testing is shorter in some cases by orders of magnitude. Dying of something and getting treated in 2 days versus 5 months is an immeasurable advantage to survival and quality of life. The one person has to survive/suffer months longer for your claim of “equal service”. That is not equal service. It’s also not a very humane interpretation of equivalent treatment; I’m surprised you’d even hold such an opinion but I guess always viewing a human being as a liability does that.

Comment #235 - Posted by: penty at July 23, 2009 11:04 AM

Prole at July 23, 2009 10:12 AM


"I do not favour socialism. I do not favour a single employer system. I favour minimums and collective bargaining rights."


Minimums, as in wages? Illegal, as they interfere with each person's right to determine what he is willing to pay for service, and what he is willing to sell his service for. That's the foundation, but you like the practical. Okay.

Minimum wage laws hurt the lowest income levels by 1: reducing the number of people who employers can afford to employ. Ten people at ten dollars each or twenty at five? They contribute to unemployment, as well as 2: contributing to inflation, by increasing the cost to businesses per unit of productivity. Ten people produce less than twenty, generally speaking, so the employer gets less end product for his money, and has to raise prices. Yes, an increase in inflation and unemployment, otherwise known as "stagflation". And who are hit hardest by cost of living increases? Those who spend the largest percentage of their pay on the basic necessities, the poor.

I think it was Milton Friedman (not my favorite guy, but hey, he is smart) who called minimum wage laws, "the most anti-black" legislation on the books.

Collective bargaining rights: People have a right to bargain for the sale of their labor or goods, yes. And they can choose to do so in groups, yes. So far, so good. What they don't have a right to do is to use force to get their way. Not their own force, not hired thugs, not government force. That is what human law and government is; the use of force. So when unions use the government to obtain things they have no right to (and there is no right to a certain, specific wage, or benefit, or it wouldn't be "free" trade), or to force non-union workers out of a shop, or to force them into unions, or to keep them from bargaining with employers on their own, or a host of other activities with effective reduce the actual bargaining going on, they are doing wrong.

Related article: http://mises.org/story/3553

Comment #236 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 11:10 AM

griz at July 23, 2009 11:00 AM

Could you be more specific, please?

Comment #237 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 11:12 AM

Prole at July 23, 2009 10:12 AM


"I do not favour socialism."

No, you favor statism, apparently. Statism begets more statism, and in the end it doesn't matter if it's flavored as Communist socialism, fascism, or a religious state with a God-King. It is the opposite of individual freedom.

Comment #238 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 11:15 AM

grix,

I hate to say this. Using the rest day discussion to as a reason to no do something is simply that person looking for ANY excuse. If it wasn't the "rest day discussion" it would have been "rain", or the "font size" or some other foolishness. Stop making excuses.

Grow up. Adults can discuss and debate, it's how you refine your ideas or, god forbid, learn enough to change your mind.

Does this mean I won't train with Prole, Goat, Bingo, or Apolloswabbie or anyone else that wants to met up and Crossfit? Heavens, no, in fact I'd look forward to meeting them.

Comment #239 - Posted by: penty at July 23, 2009 11:21 AM

Actually, I think we all should go to the games next year. There have been rumors of a debate contest...

Comment #240 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 11:25 AM

A little more on minimum wages:

http://www.reason.com/news/show/134981.html

Comment #241 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 12:28 PM

http://www.reason.com/news/show/134762.html

Comment #242 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 12:50 PM

http://www.reason.com/news/show/134829.html

Comment #243 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 12:55 PM

http://thomasmullen.blogspot.com/2009/07/collectivist-republicans-losing-their.html

Comment #244 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 1:42 PM

Tara, #22,

I can back up your statements as true. I dated a gal who lived in Canada, near Toronto. She was amazed at how fast we Americans got treated and taken care of here. She really wanted to escape Canada, and move to a country where she could live free. In her opinion, health care in Canada was nothing compared to America. I agree! Keep America free.

Comment #245 - Posted by: Greg/M2 at July 23, 2009 2:23 PM

Prole, 233, I hope you'll forgive me if I let those answers stand on their own merits. I'm sure we'll meet here again. I'm surprised at your defense of coercion but still value the discussion. It was nice to have a day relatively unfettered w attack v reasoned exchange. Paul

PS - heard someone talking to day who said her abortion should be paid for by the govt because it would be cheaper than having to pay for the health care of the child were it to be born. Humans as liabilities, eh?

Comment #246 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 6'2" 205 45 yoa at July 23, 2009 3:31 PM

Wow. This is what a real debate looks like. I think this is the most content-filled discussion I've seen here.

I don't have time to read everything, and in any suspect most of the specific stuff I would have said has been said.

I did want to offer up a couple ideas that occurred to me today.

There is this misconception that "Government" has money. That, for example, the government can provide health insurance. Think this through: what is being proposed is taking TAXPAYER money (actually, borrowed money, but I am going to assume it will eventually be repaid, and of course interest payments over many years do cover the principle at some point), and HIRING people to manage healthcare. These people will be empowered, at some point, to set prices for things, dictate how coverage is provided, and generally act in an arbitrary manner that has nothing, intrinsically, to do with efficiency.

They don't have to be efficient. They can provide competition to the private sector, but the private sector cannot compete with them. They set the laws. They don't have to make a profit, or even take in what they spend. They can lose OUR money year after year, and stay in business since they are the law.

Taxes are a necessary evil. Our Revolution was not fought over taxes, per se, but rather that the taxes levied were not with the "consent of the governed". We had taxation without representation.

But consider what taxes are. Money is taken from you and someone else decides how it will be spent. You have some say, of course, but the more disconnected politicians are from the people, the less say you have.

With my own money, I decide what I want to buy. With taxes, someone else decides what I want to buy.

When I go to the grocery store, I buy the precise products I want. When the government "goes to the grocery store", they buy, for me, what they think I OUGHT to want.

One other note on groceries: if I started buying twice as many groceries as previously, would there be any reason my cost would not go up? This is why our costs are high: we consume a lot of services.

Colonoscopies, for example, are very routine in this country. MOST of the time, nothing is found. They cost whatever, say $1,000, but if nothing is found, no positive health outcome is realized. Our cost is higher than that of a country which does not allow that test--or rarely allows it--but our mortality has only been affected by those for whom the test was positive.

Our rates of survival of colon cancer are much higher in this country than other countries, but that is not a huge blip in overall mortality. Still our costs are higher.

Groceries cost money. So do tests. There is no way around this. And price controls will merely shrink up the supply; and rationing is merely a de facto and blatant decrease in our freedom of choice.

Comment #247 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 23, 2009 5:19 PM

Apollo,

Agreed. Good discussion. My own anecdote: I heard an American complain today that she pays $750 a month in insurance and last year had to wait nine months to see a surgeon for a procedure covered by her policy.

Goat,

My problem with Locke (perhaps not with Locke but with his readers - I actually like Locke) is that his state of nature and his natural man are fictions, constructs, tools, to be used in certain situations, and they are not recognized as such by his readers. They do not explain the human condition from within society, they do not describe the "bargain" we inherit.

Aristotle does that better when he says that human beings are political animals, we cannot know what they would be without the polis because they have never been and never could be - after the nukes fall or the asteroid hits there will be communities (at a minimum the family, then extended family, then tribe, village, town, city).

You see, I do not think the thing you call "the individual" exists, in the way you do. Individual people exist, they are particular and distinguishable from every other person, they have rights, but they are inecstricably embeded in their communities, first by learning language, then by a host of other instutions and inheritances. So, the individual's rights cannot be justified simply by the fact that he or she would have had capacities in the state of nature that correspond to what you call rights (again, how do we know this? you read Locke as describing the "state of nature" in order to prescribe laws for the world as exists now, but actually he wrote a conjectural history of the state of nature, ). Get rid of the state of nature and we have a discussion about interests. You have interests, I have interests, Apollo has interests, and we have them within a socially constructed context (I'm not talking Marx's superstructure here, I'm saying as human beings we have interests from within a society that was here before we arrived and is beyond our control) and even more, we have our interests in this particular context (yours US, me Canada). It seems to me false to articulate your intrests as those that are somehow more fundamental to others on the basis that they derive from a state of nature that is outside or prior to......to what? As long as there has been homo sapiens there has been society, at first simple societies, then more complex. There has never been a social contract in the way Hobbes and Locke conceived it. While we negotiatate our next contract we are arleady signatories to an existing contract. Locke teaches us how to break the contract. To start again.

I actually don't like the big state. And I admit democracy becomes impersonal, bureuacratic, and often ineffective when it involves 300 million people. That's where you are though. How about that Constitutional Convention I was talking about? Divide up the legislative powers, make them more local.

Comment #248 - Posted by: Prole at July 23, 2009 5:31 PM

As far as my frequent invocations of Communism, a word or two might be in order.

There is a terrifying phrase from Rousseau: "forcing" people to be free. What he meant by this, essentially, is that paternalistic autocracy is the essence of compassion, as he defined it. The intellectuals tell the weak-minded what to do, and since they are now on the correct path, they have been "freed". Pol Pot was an immense admirer of Rousseau.

The simple fact of the matter is that a nation or people that wants to govern itself has to value freedom and the responsibilty that goes with it. Ultimately, to work, their freedom has to consist, primarily, in the precise form of virtue that person wants to pursue. You can be a good Mormon, or a good atheist, or good citizen in general, but you cannot have a nation of people who don't value freedom, and remain free.

Ethical and moral teaching in this nation has devolved into the absolute sanctification of tolerance, with the result that positive virtues like self respect, courage, thrift, and common sense have taken a back burner. They are not gone, certainly, and certainly there are many positive currents floating around.

And yet, I think a careful observer can clearly see--as the shadow reality of Obama's successful use of the buzzword "hope"--a profound pessimism.

What IS the purpose of life? Scientism has no answer to this. They can tell us the roles of neurochemicals, but they can't tell us what is worth doing.

America was founded as a Christian nation. Not in law, not in overt statement, but practically. All of the Founding Fathers clearly felt that some form of moral harmony was necessary for success, and that Christian piety was most suited to this.

Absent God, many of them felt we would not endure.

I look around me, and I see a lot of critics of religion. Reading between the lines, and looking down the road, I see a storm on the horizon. Being nice is not the same as being virtuous. Going to work and doing your job is not the same as having a sense of meaning and purpose.

If we cannot discover a better means of binding ourselves to one another--of forming a new and better moral order--autocracy is mathematically necessary, in my view.

And if you read the works of, among others, radical environmentalists like Al Gore, they quite literally intend to end democracy, if needed to enact their schemes.

Comment #249 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 23, 2009 5:31 PM

Prole at July 23, 2009 5:31 PM

Locke "state of nature" in no way suggests to me a separation from society. It seems a description of where a person fits within society, a limit what one person may do to or take from another person. Man is not considered alone, Locke dives right into property in his second treatise. If we are considering man outside of existing society, why bother with property at all? No, Locke is describing the fundamentals of how to organize a fair and decent society, based around not what is best for A person, but what is best for EACH person.

As for the response to you Constitutional question, I have much to say, so it has to wait until I have some more time. Tomorrow my lunch break may run long.

Comment #250 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 5:41 PM

As far as the point of government, I have finally today sat down to read Paine's Common Sense.

Here is a nice line: "some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no disctinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by united our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. . .were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistably obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but this not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means of protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least."

I think that speaks for itself.

Comment #251 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 23, 2009 5:43 PM

Row: 3000m in 13:40

M/25/155

Comment #252 - Posted by: Joshua at July 23, 2009 5:52 PM

Bryan Wheelock #231 and Goat #232:

I'm afraid I agree with Bryan here, Goat. Although the pharm companies own the product, on balance there is insufficient benefit to the consumer/citizen in combination with the first amendment right to speech on the part of the company to outweigh the "yelling fire in a theater" mal-effect to society and the economy that has ensued from open pharma marketing.

This is low-lying fruit.

Comment #253 - Posted by: bingo at July 23, 2009 7:49 PM

Hmm, Bingo, not sure what you mean, with the first amendment in there. My basic point is that you, and me, and the world in general don't have the right to restrict it. Even by the standards of the Constitution. If we hold property rights sacred (and if we don't, all other discussions are moot, there is no freedom), then I have not the right to tell person A he cannot sell the chemical B he owns to person C (with obvious exceptions, such as children...), because I don't own A, B, or C, and the sale of the drug does nobody any harm. Nobody.

Improper use of the drug MAY. If it does, it may only be harmful to the adult who chose to use it. No crime. If C gave it to D without disclosing what it actually was, or lying about it, and D was harmed by it, then crime. If C force feeds it to someone, crime. If C gives it to a minor, other than his own child, and it is a risky drug (as in, not tylenol), then crime. If C gives to his own child, and reasonably could know it was harmful, crime. To make a short story even longer, knowingly causing harm equals crime. The SALE harms nobody. No crime.

As for the first amendment, it's a bit of a red herring. No such right. "Free speach" is really a property right. I can't come to your house and say nasty things about you, I don't have the right. You have every right to kick me out. But I could say them on my property, as much as I wanted. I could print them on my paper, using my printer, and hand the flyers out to whoever wanted them, but not on somebody else's property, without permission.

And no, I don't think yelling "fire" is a right. It can result in bodily harm, and it's reasonable to assume people should know that, and knowingly causing harm violates a person's rights ("life" being interpreted a little loosely, but hey, who wants to be trampled by a crowd?)

Comment #254 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 23, 2009 8:15 PM

Goat 235,

The principles you draw from Locke's discussion of property in his Second Treatise are incomplete (not a complaint on my part - rest day workouts don't allow much time for visits to the library). Locke's discussion of the acorn and of the mixing of labour with nature as founding a right to property is located at paragraph 28 of the edition I've linked. At 34 Locke wrote that God gave humankind the natural world but did not intend the world to remain in common and uncultivated. He "gave it to the use of the industrious and rational (and labour was to be his title to it); not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious." At 32-3 he wrote: "He that...subdued, tilled, and sowed any part of it, thereby annexed to it something that was his property, which another had no title to, nor could without injury take from him."

So far I think Goat and Locke are in agreement (notwithstanding the invocation of the divine perhaps), though Goat would likely not share Locke's concern about the covetous or the quarrelsome.

But then, at para. 33 Locke more clearly strays from the path Goat would likely have him take. There Locke wrote:

"Nor was this appropriation of any parcel of land, by improving it, any prejudice to any other man, since there was still enough and as good left, and more than the yet unprovided could use. So that, in effect, there was never the less left for others because of his enclosure for himself. For he that leaves as much as another can make use of does as good as take nothing at all. Nobody could think himself injured by the drinking of another man, though the took a good draught, who had a whole river of the same water left him to quench his thirst, and the case of land and water, where there is enough of both, is perfectly the same."

This understanding of the relationship between human beings, nature, labour and property seems sensible to me from a 17thC Anglo perspective seems understandable to me. It is also understandable that the many Americans in the 18th and 19th C's would find in this description of the state of nature one with explanatory power for their own situation, and their own ambitions on the New World frontier, a terra nullius (aboriginal peoples notwithstanding). But, the frontier has been closed for some time (and was never open for many people). In modern industrial society a good deal of the appropriation that goes on results in the prejudice to those without.

Locke's Second Treatise gave a conjectural historical account of legitimate sovereignty (just as the portion of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding that he devoted to discussing language gave a conjectural historical account of the development of the human mind). Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Rousseau, a ½ dozen or so Scots including Smith and Ferguson did this type of thing in order to ground a new science of politics stripped of theocratic and absolutist baggage - Man is born free, but everywhere he is chains! This is the wonderful legacy of the Enlightenment. But this conjectural history and its description of the state of nature as either hell or paradise, despite being extremely valuable for developing a secular way of talking about politics, did not describe anything real. Locke's account of legitimate sovereignty provided the foundations for legitimate revolt - another theory that fit very well with the needs of the Colonists as they unsuccessfully exhausted their claims for full English rights. They do not fit as well with the reality or the needs of a modern industrial liberal democracy, though they still have a role to play.

Comment #255 - Posted by: Prole at July 23, 2009 9:05 PM

"Fire in a theater" is the appropriate analogy, Goat. At times the government must restrict free speech, eg. no tobacco ads on TV. Pharma ads, and indeed lawyer and doctor ads, were allowed on the grounds of both free speech and restraint of trade issues, both of which can be trumped by some "greater good".

All three are bad policy and all three could be restricted with a net benefit.

Comment #256 - Posted by: bingo at July 24, 2009 4:35 AM

bingo at July 24, 2009 4:35 AM

Yes, but what I am saying is that restricting free speach is not a violation of rights, as free speach is not a right. Restricting ads is a violation of rights, however, because the ads violate nobody's rights. The argument of "greater good" could go on all day. I could easily say that the government prohibiting perfectly reasonable actions by interfering with private peoples' ability to make contracts, and by controlling what private people do with their own broadcasting equipment, does more harm to society than the smoking ads. It's a destruction of property rights. That sort of thing, once it's rolling, tends not to stop short of land redistribution.

But in the end it's hard to measure the net effect of tobacco ads. It's been years of restrictions, I still see most of the kids my town smoking. So what is done? These days adults who choose, of their own free will, to smoke are treated like outcasts. Some States ban it outside the home, some make people stay 200+ yards from buildings, so on, so forth. All in the name of "public good".

But I wonder how something that hurts each of us as individuals, something which is a net evil, and I'm talking about the restrictions on our freedoms, our ability to choose our own lifestyles, how that can benefit "the public". How can you do harm to each person in a group, and then say that the group benefits? The only way that makes sense is if the group itself is an entity outside of the people who make it up; if the group is somehow more important than the sum of it's parts. And when I hear government officials speaking that way, I understand that the part of the "group" which gets the benefits is really the small number who call themselves "governemnt".

But the simple fact is that we don't have the right to tell people not to smoke, not to take drugs, not to do themselves harm. We just don't. I know that if everyone in the U.S. took up CrossFit and started eating Paleo-Zone, there would be an immense benefit to each person, and therefore society as a whole. But if I FORCE them to, it is a net loss. Yes, they get healthier, but they are no longer free. "Give me liberty or give me death" is not just a macho saying. It's a good basis for a decent and compassionate society.

Comment #257 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 24, 2009 6:22 AM

bingo at July 24, 2009 4:35 AM

One thing I wonder is this: What was society like from a medical standpoint way back in the day? Before the A.M.A. got it's monopoly, before drug laws, before health insurance, back when a man went to school, learned medicine, and then hung a shingle on his front porch. When access to drugs was unrestricted by government, a person went to wherever they were sold and got what he needed without permission from somebody else, or saw whatever doctor he felt like without approval. Was is a society of drug addicts and people dropping dead in the streets as a result of poor or no treatment? Or was the quality of medical care, and life in general, as good as it could in the U.S. as anywhere else? Better, maybe? I don't have the time to research this, not this week, but it would be enlightening, methinks.

The fact is, however, that we cannot just restrict something based upon the fact that we don't like it, or it's affect on society. Each of us alone does not determine what society is. I don't get to restrict lawyer ads just because I think that bad lawyers and frivolous lawsuits have ruined a number of industries. I would be punishing the innocent, both good lawyers and those who would benefit from knowing how to reach them, directly. Indirectly I would be hurting everyone, by eroding the protections of their rights.

Punishing people for violating rights is one thing. Punishing those who have not violated anyone's rights, in the name of preventing them from having the opportunity to do so, is a net loss because, in the end, all you have done is violate THEIR rights.

Comment #258 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 24, 2009 6:33 AM

Prole at July 23, 2009 9:05 PM

I agree, his words do not fit well in modern society. That seems more an indictment of modern society than it is the practical applicability of his words.

As for the land, he uses that because, at the time, there was an abundance. Many lands around the globe do not have the same abundance, and therefor property rights become all the more important. Something which is grossly limited cannot be communal, it just doesn't work. But we do NOT have the problem in North America. West of the Mississippi, the U.S. government is the largest land owner, and much of the remaining land is uninhabited. I could go carve out my own stake, acres and acres, and not take a square inch from any private person.

But I do not see how, even if that were an issue, it would affect the nature of the rights to life, liberty, and property.

Comment #259 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 24, 2009 6:40 AM

My Wod:
CFWU
7 Rounds of:

GHD situp 5-5-5-5-5-5-5
Weighted pullup 20lbx5-25lbx5-30lbx4-35lbx3-40lbx3-45lbx3-50lbx3
Bench Press 135x10-135x10135x10-145x8-165x6-185x4-195(fail)

Didn't keep time (bum knee) M/40/5'8"/155

Comment #260 - Posted by: Jon at July 24, 2009 6:42 AM

Prole, I gotta close this window now and actually make myself worth employing. I have a busy weekend, so I won't be able to answer your main question on this rest day. I WILL DO SO some time in the near future, I assure you. It is actually something I have been putting some thought to for some time, so it will be interesting to me to see how it translates from my head to paper.

Comment #261 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/192/5'-11" at July 24, 2009 7:11 AM

So, I found your post on crossfit and decided to give your site a try. (I usually use crossfit for ideas of what to do in the workout aspect). I’ve been doing the HIIT/abs in the morning and working out in the afternoon, and I have to say that I can already see results after the week or so I’ve been doing it. The primary reason I believe is the addition of daily HIIT and the diet change."

Check out this great workout program called the

AX WORKOUT

Google... AX WORKOUT

It's a hardcore fat burning workout. Just read the testimonial.

Comment #262 - Posted by: Jay at July 24, 2009 5:24 PM

As long as Apolloswabbie outed me and since it's on topic, and since it was ready to go:

"An (Im)Modest Healthcare Proposal" http://www.drdarrellwhite.com

Comment #263 - Posted by: bingo at July 25, 2009 10:10 AM

You all see the Texas Governor is considering "pleading the 10th", if this healthcare trainwreck gets off the tracks and into our front yards: http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1504240.html

If they secede, I'm moving there.

Comment #264 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 25, 2009 1:02 PM

I enjoyed this discussion very much and regret not having the time to participate. Thanks for the great links & opinion

I support the Bingo plan!

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