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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Illegal immigrants not covered by ObamaCare?

I noted in a previous post about Obama’s healthcare speech that he did lie when he said illegal immigrants would not be covered. Shawn’s attempt at a rebuttal is below, with my reply interspersed throughout.

Shawn in bold font

My reply regular font


The claim concerning illegal immigrants is half-true. The House bill prevents access to tax credits for the impoverished. This system could easily be policed by the IRS, which would be nearly impossible to game by illegal immigrants.

Though it is true that there is no citizenship verification to enter the public option, this is also true for private insurance. Thus, it is the status quo. Secondly, the public option is designed to be funded only by premium holders, and therefore no taxpayer funding.

There are a number of things wrong with this attempt. Notice that he tries to diminish my point in his first paragraph before admitting that I was correct in the next. He then adds several errors to his rather lame argument.

The claim is not half-true, as his second paragraph admits. What he has to conveniently ignore to support his half-true claim is that attempts to include a verification method were rejected. Furthermore, we already have evidence of what government run healthcare programs result in when it comes to illegal immigrants.

When it comes to the question of whether government-run health-care programs will be used to subsidize illegal aliens, we need not confine ourselves to the realm of the hypothetical and the speculative. Helpfully, the government itself has taken a look at the issue from time to time. […] (source)

So, yeah, Wilson's right to believe that the Democrats are not telling the truth when they say the programs they want to establish aren't going to shunt money into the pockets of illegal immigrants. (source)

Since Shawn’s reply, the Senate has taken up the task of trying to include such verification in their version of healthcare reform.

The controversy over Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s shouting out “You Lie!” at the President over his claim that illegal immigrants wouldn’t benefit from health-care reform apparently sparked some reconsideration of the relevant language. “We really thought we’d resolved this question of people who are here illegally, but as we reflected on the President’s speech last night we wanted to go back and drill down again,” said Senator Kent Conrad, one of the Democrats in the talks after a meeting Thursday morning. Baucus later that afternoon said the group would put in a proof of citizenship requirement to participate in the new health exchange — a move likely to inflame the left. (source, thanks to HotAir which has additional commentary)

An odd action if what Joe Wilson said was not true or if it was only half-true.

Now let’s focus on the additional errors. Shawn had said:

Though it is true that there is no citizenship verification to enter the public option, this is also true for private insurance.

Because private insurance and government subsidized insurance are the exact same thing. /sarcasm

Thus, it is the status quo.

Which is completely irrelevant as to whether or not illegal immigrants will be covered by ObamaCare.

Secondly, the public option is designed to be funded only by premium holders, and therefore no taxpayer funding.

Right. Because government projections on the cost of government run programs always come in under budget, entitlements never grow larger and larger, and paying less than market value for services never has negative affects on the availability of the services. Furthermore, the government option cannot be separated from all else contained in the bill(s) because a number of the proponents have stated the government option is intended to be a step to eliminating private health insurance and creating a single payer system. This is why there are various revenue schemes floating around including burdensome fines on employers who do not provide enough health insurance, and for individuals who choose not to get insured and adding a tax to high wage earners.

Let’s also keep in mind that Medicare and Medicaid are facing massive revenue shortfalls. The private health insurance industry is not. Obama and his allies want to eliminate the one system out of the three that is not failing and roll everyone into the two that are. (That is paraphrased from a  comment at Ace’s blog)

You should fact check better.

That is hilarious considering the source. 

You mentioned me not getting the number of uninsured correctly several times now, so here is the defense of the figure. Though I used 2007 census data, the economy was much stronger then. Recall that a DHH survey placed 57.7 million uninsured during the first half of 2008, which is when the economy began receding. Since then, unemployment has risen several percentage points, and so any mathematics done to remove overcounting of illegal immigrants is offset by the undercounting of current economic conditions. Click for more details.

All of which completely ignores the studies already presented that show how many of the “uninsured” can afford health insurance or already qualify for existing welfare and that many are uninsured for only 4 months or so. That fact check admonition is looking even more silly now. But let’s look at analysis of the latest Census Bureau numbers. Once one goes through the exercise again of removing those who can afford it or qualify for existing programs we have:

The general scope of the problem is between 17 and 20 million uninsured at worst, not 46 million or 30 million, as Obama tried to argue on Wednesday. (source)

Keep in mind this is based on the less reliable Census Bureau data and that a previous study used the less unreliable Congressional Budget Office data and resulted in smaller numbers for the year studied.

Finally, Shawn noted that I criticized his uninsured number several times. Since he admitted to that, it is revealing that he didn’t also address the breakdown that I included in a previous post.

But this debate shouldn't also be concerned with the number of uninsured, but other aspects of heathcare in this country, such as costs.

Yes, because we all know that the number of people who will be/need to be covered has no affect on the overall cost that will be spread to everyone else. /sarcasm

If I recall, the President did mention removing interstate barriers to allow private insurers to compete in markets that are currently monopolized.

No, Obama mentioned that some states have few or only one company dominating the market and that was justification for creating his version of competition, i.e. the government option. What did Shawn say earlier about fact checking?

This would be why Wolf Biltzer did not get a straight answer from David Axelrod on the matter of removing interstate barriers. Video and transcript here.

But that alone wouldn't cut the costs associated with health care.

I don’t know anyone that’s offering that as the only thing that needs to be done. I’ve covered some of these other reforms before and/or linked to articles that have. Since Shawn has read some of those previous posts, I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide about his intellectual honesty, or lack thereof, with his insinuation that this is being presented as the only thing to do.

Other forms of reform will be needed to curb the current rate of increasing cost before it becomes twice the rate of growth of our GDP.

Duh! I’ve noted some in other posts. Off the top of my head we need to include tort reform, reduce/eliminate mandated benefits, eliminate tax preference for employer provided insurance, allow for health status insurance, reform Medicare and Medicaid so that there can be competition with fee for service payment methods and to reduce waste and fraud. Moving to a voucher or HSA system that the government contributes to would cover a lot of that for the poor. In addition to that, the FDA needs to be reformed as it is been more about protecting pharmaceutical company profit rather than protecting health. Medical professionals need to also stop being so biased against OTC products. When you can get vitamin D3, fish oil and niacin for 10 to 20 times less at Walgreens than for what the prescription versions cost, there are vast amounts to be saved, including the improvement in health that those supplements would encourage.

I think Shawn should be complimented for his consistency. He still ignores points already made, uses incomplete data and deflects from the actual arguments being made.


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