Originally Posted by Kenny_C.002
Common tactic to just blame whoever's in power when it's convenient to do so. Secondarily, you missed entirely on whether or not confounding occurs. First, you don't know what prescriptions your grandparents actually have and what plans they are under. You also have no idea on what insurance they have and what changes were there. As far as I know, the only changes that occurred due to the bill passing is that medicare costs less for the elderly, and that insurance companies couldn't change their deductibles. A lot of possible explanations can occur for your parents, including but not limiting to: increased prescription costs (inflation), increased number of prescriptions, changes in prescriptions, changes in how prescriptions are handled, changes in your grandparents' income, etc. Literally a million things can be traced that have nothing to do with the bill itself (except for drug companies attempting to cash in as usual), and none of it is the Democrats' fault.
Actually Kenny the price of prescriptions did rise in the US slightly after the bill was passed, and they're like to rise again after the bill takes effect. But I can explain why that is and why it's not actually the fault of the bill, but the system. And here I get to play Kenny by explaining something I know more about than the person who raised the complaint.
It used to be that medical care wasn't actually that expensive. Sure, advances in medical care increased the expense, but in a truly free market economy things really don't get more expensive than the people can afford. People on the right like to point to tort fraud and the FDA for rising medical costs, and while they have a point on the former (the latter is somewhat stupid as the medications the FDA reject can't be competitively viable, as they have this tendency to towards lawsuit inducing side effects), one of the major culprits is the practice of purchasing prescription drugs under health insurance policies. Observe the following train of logic.
1. Doctor prescribes medicine to patient.
2. Patient goes back to doctor after finding out how much the most effective drug costs and says "Doc, I can't afford that, is there something that costs less?" and the doctor prescribes them something they can actually afford. Alternatively, if it's completely unnecessary medication such as, say, painkillers for a mild ache post-op, then the patient just never fills out the presciption.
3. In order to remain competitive in the extremely large middle- and working-class sector, drug companies lower costs, causing a net increase in profit as far more people buy their drugs.
4. Everybody's happy.
Completely reasonable in a free market economy. After all, it's pretty much the basic tenant: competition leads to lower prices, the most competitive people win. But then people got the idea to buy drugs under their insurance plans. After all, if I buy it with my insurance, then I what am I paying? Just like with loans, we in America find ways to live beyond our means based on essentially no understanding of concept "you buy now, pay later, but you're going to have to pay later, end of discussion." And so the logic progresses as follows.
1. Doctor prescribes medication
2. Because they can't afford it on their own dime, the patient buys the medication under their insurance plan.
3. Cheaper medications, now losing money because everyone's able to afford the more expensive ones, raise their prices, creating more of a burden on people who need to buy that medication specifically, causing more people to buy it under their
4. One of the finer points of capitalism, i.e. the drive to make the most profit you possibly can, kicks in as the drug companies realize that they no longer have to worry about being financially competitive and raise prices even higher.
5. More and more people have to buy medication under their insurance policies, allowing them to raise prices even more as they have less people who aren't doing so to cater to.
Final result: Seriously jacked up insurance premiums to cover all these prescription drug costs.
And where does the insurance bill fit into this? The answer is the mandate. Every person in America will be required by law to have health insurance. Every person in America will be purchasing their drugs they're prescribed regardless of cost, which inevitably be either the one that works best or the one that pays the hospital. There will be literally no one left not buying their medications under their insurance plans. And economic competition will be completely gone from the prescription drug market. Health insurance+drugs=virtual monopoly.
So Dark Lord, if you're so ready to blame your grandparents' rising prescription costs on the effects of the bill, I think you should be looking at the source of the problem, the common theme in American economic problems: living beyond our means.
Damn Kenny, no wonder you hang around us inferior minds so much, that was freaking fun.
Finally, I find it interesting that despite me proclaiming neutrality by the sheer fact that I'm criticizing both parties, you still manage to call me a liberal. I understand that you're probably some 10 year old kid who can't think, let alone think abstractly, but you have to understand that some of us here are like 20 and can actually think abstractly.
I always find that hilarious too. You try so hard to stay neutral, but the moment you make one partisan remark, even if it's then mirrored by an equally partisan remark the other way, you're suddenly a liberal/conservative.
Originally Posted by Lusankya
Independents really CAN'T have a voice. Since they're well, independent, they aren't a party and therefore can't form a collective loud enough to have a voice. By nature, independents all have their own agendas and their own thoughts, meaning their voices turn into a rabble like that in a high school cafeteria, rather than a single unified voice. It's not a problem with the party system, it's just the inherent nature of a group of nonaffiliated people.
I think I gave the wrong impression by saying it was me as an Independent. I meant that I'm an Independent and I want a voice. Obviously I don't want us to collectively have a voice, that would defeat the purpose of being unaffiliated. I want my personal voice heard. I also want other independents and third party folks to be heard. Moderates within the parties have no excuse, they get to vote in primaries, but I get no personal say in who I'm allowed to vote for because Maryland does not have a system where we can. Furthermore, the distinct lack of open primaries in general (meaning everyone can vote in any primary, regardless of party affiliation) means that Democrats don't get any say in what they're option other than the Democrat candidate is, and the same to the Republicans. I think we can credit party-line voting to that rather than to any inherent ideological difference.
And I honestly don't think Palin has a chance in a presidential election. And if she does get elected, I will accept the fact that America's golden age is well and truly over and that its downfall is going to be the history of my lifetime.
She can't be. There's too much opposition within her own party, I honestly believe that if she was nominated a combination of voter apathy from Republicans who don't want either her or Obama and moderate Republicans saying "screw it, I'm not taking the chance" and voting for Obama would cause her to lose.
Originally Posted by Larvinator
No, no, I really do believe that Palin would shoot herself in the foot with how severely polarizing she is. Seriously, her only real base is in the far-right Tea Party; anyone even remotely moderate hates her.
Honestly, I have never even understood the appeal of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck is an incredible communicator and, I suppose, actor (seriously, watch his show, it's pretty amazing what he can do with a chalkboard and some emotion), Limbaugh is a skilled debater...what does Palin have? People call her charismatic or something, but I just want to turn off my TV every time I hear her shrill harpy cry of "You betcha!"
She doesn't even have a shot in the primaries imo. If I had to bet on who was going to win the Republican primary I'd put my money on Ron Paul, but even that's a toss-up. It really depends on how the Tea Party candidates handle themselves in the next year, and how long it takes them to make the Republican party establishment as a whole remember that America is a center-right nation, not a far-right one.
That was the voices of people who want civility in government, not the voices of the unaffiliated. The entire point of what Lus was saying was Independents speak with a large, mixed bag of voices and messages. The Rally was a large group of people with one message speaking with one voice.
Edit: Oh right, in my lecture on drug prices and insurance I forgot that I came here with a new topic for discussion, the only possibly silver lining in my eyes to so many Tea Party conservatives being elected and essentially taking over the House: the earmark moratorium. Republicans in the House are very likely to end all earmark spending for some length of time (I don't think they've given an exact length for the moratorium they want to propose). For those unfamiliar, earmarks are additions put into bills allocating money to projects in a politician's home state in order to garner their support. It's a long standing practice, about a century and a half old now I believe, and while it's a good idea in practice-money to a state's infrastructure, getting support to move things through that otherwise wouldn't etc.-abuse of it has led to it being a symbol of government waste, and probably for good reason. Hence, Tea Party Republicans are going to end the practice in the House on literally the first the first bill that goes through-as an amendment, not as an actual bill, which is either very ironic or very symbolic-and Republicans are beginning to pledge support for it as a show of good faith towards restoring the fiscal conservatism that the GOP used to be known for. Discuss :3