Saturday, March 20, 2010

A few notes on the health-care debate

When I listen to liberal arguments about health-care debate, I am always amazed at how illogical their arguments are. Here are a couple of examples...

Liberals want to force people to buy insurance, so that no one could get a free ride. This is their main explanation on why they intend to use the full power of the IRS against those that refuse to purchase the medical insurance. In real life, these is no need for government coercion to achieve this goal. The Federal Government can simply drop the requirement on the health care providers to serve everyone - whether we are talking about emergency rooms or hospitals. And bingo - this would cut medical costs,  increase individual liberty and promote more responsibility. But as someone said long time ago - it's no fun for liberals if people do something voluntarily - they always want to use the government coercion.

You often hear liberals whining about the general unfairness that congressmen get excellent medical insurance plans, while so many people in America have to do without any insurance coverage. Obamacare is supposed to change this inequality. Of course, this liberal argument is not logical, since it is impossible to imagine that the State can provide medical care to 300 million Americans at the level that is achieved for a few hundred very rich politicians. But more importantly - the health care bill itself openly aims to destroy high-quality medical insurance plans for non-politicians by taxing what Obama called "Cadillac insurance plans". In short, if/when Obamacare gets through Congress - no working man will be allowed to have the insurance which even approaches what the politicans have.

How stupid do liberals think we are to believe their arguments? Very stupid, if you watch carefully what Obama pushes on all of us.

17 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

Great observations! Being from the former Soviet Union, you know where this is all going. Equality means health care will be equally crappy for everybody.

Hyphenated American said...

Silverfiddle:

"Equality means health care will be equally crappy for everybody."

Ah - but this is where it gets tricky. Health care will be crappy for everyone except for the political elite. Back in the USSR there were special hospitals, special doctors, special stores - special everything for what was called "nomenclatura". Don't think for a second that one day you will see the Obamas sitting with you in the corridor, waiting in line for to be checked by a doctor. No, no, no, comrade Obama, comrade Nancy and comrade Hairy will never be seen in the same facilities with the masses.

I've written a few posts on this very subject. This one I believe is the best.

Of course, in the long run, they will also be screwed - just as Soviet medical care was sub-par even for the elites. Medical care, like any other human activity needs freedom for fast growth. In the end, people pay with their lives for the government control over the health care - and it includes the elites.

But as Ayn Rand pointed out long time ago - liberals/socialists/communists/statists have a death wish.

Jim McMahon said...

Another great hypocrisy of the left is how since before Roe vs. Wade was decided back in 1973, they have been screaming that the government has no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. But now, some 37 odd years later, they are screaming we must let the government tell us all what we can or cannot do with our bodies.

Michael Savage is absolutely right when he says, “Liberalism is a mental disorder.”

factyouall said...

Jim,

I don't quite follow the logic behind your assertion that they are screaming we must let the government tell us all what we can or cannot do with our bodies. How does HCR relate to this idea?

Are you saying that the insurance mandate is somehow related to a medical procedure? What is the thing that "can or cannot" be done to someones body? As a side question, who is doing the screaming you refer to.

I'm looking forward to your reply so I can understand this issue better.

Thanks,
FYA

Hyphenated American said...

Lets start with the basics...

In some Canadian provinces, people are not allowed to buy medical insurance for humans (they can purchase them for animals) - they can only use the government insurance. In same provinces, people cannot directly purchase medical services - all medical care must proceed according to the government regulated procedure and through government system. The procedures and resources for medical care are decided by the government. If the government decides to allocate less resources for treating a particular illness - you are forced by law to stay in line and your are limited to the care provided by the state.

So, let me ask you - does such a system essentially decides what and when can be done to your body?

After we are finished with this, we can move to more complex questions - for example whether the Obamacare would or could lead to the same results.

factyouall said...

H-A,

What does Canadian health care have to do with what Jim was saying. I'm really confused.

Were you able to understand my questions? Are these too difficult to answer? After all, they have a direct relation to what Jim actually said.

As to your new information, I guess that much of it seems too odd to believe. I was actually in Canada last summer, and asked a local about their system. The reply, after a short conversation, was that it works very well. I must admit pet care didn't come up.

If only you had any evidence that helped verify these claims, that might help.

In any case, I'm really more interested in our system.

FYA

Hyphenated American said...

Fact,

My approach is simple and obvious. Two steps, comrade.

I start with a Canadian system, where according to my opinion the government decides what happens with your body - through control of medical care. We spend time debating if my opinion is corect or wrong.

If you agree that Canadian system indeed as I describe - then the next step is debate whether Obamacare has a high potential to lead to something approaching the Canadian system.

This is a pretty classical mathematical approach to proving a theorem.

I hope this does not bother you.

factyouall said...

Well, It might not surprise you that opinion alone is not my focal point. I hope it was at least a little obvious that I find having the facts on your side is the basis for having an well-founded opinion. As the old adage goes: "everyones entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts", although even this has counterpoints.

Your purposeful (or inadvertent) inability to avoid direct questions seems to me to be a sign of deflection and avoidance of something you'd rather not discuss. Your explanation also avoids what path to take if I disagree with you; by default do you then win?

Furthermore, you didn't even respond to personal experience or my intent to discuss the US system (which is the point after all).

I firmly believe the direct approach is fair and provides a better outcome. The first thing to do is to begin with what you know (facts). Additional facts or logically accurate conclusions move the process forward. In the end, either a final conclusion may be reached, or opinion(s) based on the collected facts and conclusions can be stated.

Disagreements about initial opinions are totally avoided, and there should typically be an intermediate point where agreement is present.

I find your process not at all like any mathematical training I had. The closest name I can think of for that style of argument is "straw-man", based on arbitrary initial position. The process I described has its basis in boolean logic and what I recall as propositional calculus.

In any case, I must now declare that, IMO, both you and Jim were not really discussing anything that has any factual aspect to it, and that as an opinion really has no value.

FYA

Hyphenated American said...

Dear factyouall....

Most of your post is purely nonsensical - you are trying to prove that it's better to have an opinion based on facts than opinion based on feelings. No one is arguing against that - so the only man you are trying to persuade of this triviality is yourself. I suggest you move the schizophrenic discussions between your multiple personalities elsewhere – they bore me.

BTW, in case you are wondering, I don’t plan to ban you – and you are more than welcome to continue posting here. If you really need to continue posting crazy dialogues – keep it coming, I think I can live with a little bit of boredom on my blog. But I promise to you that you won't like me feedback.

Hyphenated American said...

One passage in your post made me smile, and I am forced to respond to it. I proposed to follow two simple steps in our discussion if Obama henchmen want to control our bodies.

•The first step is to examine the Canadian medical care, and the way some provinces forbid private citizens to purchase medical insurance and hire doctors independent of the government system. The question we have to ask is simple – in a system like that does the Canadian government have the inherent power of people’s health care – and hence their bodies?
•The second step is to debate if Obamacare is intentionally designed as to take US eventually to the Canadian system – or more properly, does the Obama administration and the liberals would want such a system in the US.

The proposed two-step debate is a rather good way of clearing up all the sticking points. It would keep us from debating minor issues. The technique that I propose is often use in mathematical proofs. Now, you clearly are not in favor of such straightforward debate, which is why you wrote the following:

I find your process not at all like any mathematical training I had. The closest name I can think of for that style of argument is "straw-man", based on arbitrary initial position. The process I described has its basis in boolean logic and what I recall as propositional calculus.

Hyphenated American said...

Lets start with obvious. According to Wikipedia “A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position”.


Surely you realize that such a description of my two-step debate proposal is nonsensical. If you read what I wrote, you would notice that I propose firstly to debate a simple system – and then to debate is this simple system has all the sufficient similarities with the complex system.

When you say that my proposed method is unlike the math you were learning – then I must in all sincerity conclude that you have either very primitive mathematical education – or you are faking the ignorance. Let me illustrate two examples of where the method I described are used in classical textbooks on math - I copied this from wikipedia to save time.

• Comparison test 1: If ∑bn is an absolutely convergent series such that |an | ≤ C |bn | for some number C  and for sufficiently large n , then ∑an  converges absolutely as well. If ∑|bn | diverges, and |an | ≥ |bn | for all sufficiently large n , then ∑an  also fails to converge absolutely (though it could still be conditionally convergent, e.g. if the an alternate in sign).
• Comparison test 2: If ∑bn  is an absolutely convergent series such that |an+1 /an | ≤ |bn+1 /bn | for sufficiently large n , then ∑an  converges absolutely as well. If ∑|bn | diverges, and |an+1 /an | ≥ |bn+1 /bn | for all sufficiently large n , then ∑an  also fails to converge absolutely (though it could still be conditionally convergent, e.g. if the an  alternate in sign).

Both comparison tests are used extensively in analysis of series convergence and divergence – just to give one example. There are myriad of other examples in math, of course.

And it's beyond doubt that this method is also used in all natural sciences, where people are forced to model infinitely complex world with a simpler system. What you described as a “straw man argument” is effectively the only method through which science actually progresses on this planet.

You inability to understand the most basic thing in math and sciences make me wonder if debating you is even worth my time. Well, if you want to continue, I suggest you come back to this board with your tail between your legs and concede that your smear of scientific methodology was pathetic and you apologize. I will be waiting for you…

factyouall said...

H-A,

I wonder if we can agree to get back to the basic questions from 3-21 & 3-23?

If you recall, I was asking about what the commenter Jim might mean in his post. Back then, these were small and simple postings, IMO. Direct questions as well.

In response to this limited back-and-forth about HCR, you decided to add a "straw-man" concept about the Canadian system, instead of dealing with US health care. I remain unconvinced that any talk about Canada will inform us about current US HC topics.

Along the way, you've used deflection and personal comments as part of the discussion to make your points; not an effective persuasion tactic as far as far I can tell. If, as you said, you would not ban me, I guess that is a positive sign that you recognize that debate is a worthy exercise, and that each of us can bring value to a discussion.

BTW, although you've introduced actual mathematical topics, I still don't see where spending time debating opinions, as part of your simple and obvious approach, is part of any classical mathematical approach to proving a theorem.

In closing, if you prefer to simply label people (comrade, schizophrenic, nonsensical, faked ignorance, pathetic, etc.) that would be an exercise of freedom of speech. What might be debatable is if this adds or detracts to the conversation, and helps bolster the position and points you are presenting.

Your final comment was illuminating: You (sic) inability to understand the most basic thing in math and sciences make me wonder if debating you is even worth my time. Well, if you want to continue, I suggest you come back to this board with your tail between your legs and concede that your smear of scientific methodology was pathetic and you apologize. I will be waiting for you…. It is safe to state that you don't know me, and your opinion on my scientific understanding is just that; an opinion. With all due respect, I have stated a reliance on facts which is clearly support for the scientific method. You also support this as your calculus examples indicate.

That I care to reply is and has been to discuss the initial points I raised. I have no fear of this type of response, as it has no affect on my ability to focus. I remain optimistic that there is still a chance to discuss opinions based on facts, rather than just opinions (not opinions based on feelings which you referred to).

FYA

factyouall said...

Meant to say:

Along the way, you've used deflection and personal comments as part of the discussion to make your points; not an effective persuasion tactic as far as I can tell. If, as you said, you would not ban me, I guess that is a positive sign that you recognize that debate is a worthy exercise, and that each of us can bring value to a discussion.

Hyphenated American said...

Factyouall...

Lets start with the obvious - I do not ban you because:
1.I don't intend to ban anyone unless they violate the rules of decency in the most obvious manner - which on this blog means spamming. Banning people for expressing their opinion is a sign weakness.
2.I won't ban you because your letters amuse me.


In short, I am gently telling you that the reasons you mention for allowing you free access to this blog are not my reasons...

Hyphenated American said...

Factyouall continued...

In our previous conversation you claimed that the proposed 2-step method of discussion has nothing to do with math, is counter-productive and meaningless. The problem is - this method is used in math quite extensively (as I demonstrated with a simple example), and it is extensively used in all natural sciences. After all, the world is extremely complex (maybe even infinitely complex), so any successful attempt to study it and find the laws governing it is required to use major simplifications. In short, the two-step approach is THE ONLY method which allows mankind to understand anything about science. When you accused (and continue accusing) this approach of relying on a fallacy (strawman) - you essentially downplay all of our sciences. Of course, you may do it due to ignorance - but ignorance or not - at the very least you need to understand the basics of a scientific approach.

In short - I want to see you acknowledge that your initial reaction to my very reasonable proposition - if I may quote our affirmative action president - was stupid. Agreed?

Hyphenated American said...

Factyouall....

Let me bury my sarcastic hatchet and respond to the essense of your misunderstanding. The question at hand is whether Obama and his ilk want to control our bodies. The first step is to acknowledge that Obama and his army of reverend Wrights support "universal" health care - the likes of which we see in Canada. Do you agree that there is sufficient evidence to make this claim?

Hyphenated American said...

Factyouall:

"Along the way, you've used deflection and personal comments as part of the discussion to make your points; not an effective persuasion tactic as far as far I can tell. "

Not sure about deflections (one man's deflection is another man's argument) but I wrote personal comments for amusement purposes. They are not designed to persuade anyone - their goal is to make this blog more entertaining for my readers.