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The Truth About Barack Hussein Obama Revealed:
Yes, Obama was clearly wearing an earpiece during the debate. That's how William Ayers feeds him his lines! [/Sarcastro]
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
he can't manage to clean his ears! how will he manage our country!?!
10.8.2008 1:20am
Isaac (www):
It appears that he's also actually an Area 51 alien in disguise!
10.8.2008 1:26am
Kevin!:
Bernstein will tell you that the earpieces isn't the problem. It's the culture of earpieces and bluetooths that Obama surrounds himself with.
10.8.2008 1:31am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
He is indeed green behind the ears, but not wearing an earpiece.
10.8.2008 1:31am
LM (mail):
Why does the VC keep embarrassing itself with posts like this? Any idiot knows the receivers are subcutaneous.
10.8.2008 1:31am
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
Of course J. Sidney McCain III would never use an earpiece. Maybe a hearing aid...
10.8.2008 1:35am
WF (mail):
Orin Kerr is Sarcasto?
10.8.2008 1:38am
PC:
Any idiot knows the receivers are subcutaneous.

What is that? Some kind of Muslim code word?
10.8.2008 1:39am
WF (mail):
(I'm kidding, to be clear)
10.8.2008 1:39am
one of many:
But the source is Althouse, who is a right-wing ideologue who lies (is that redundant?), so obviously the truth is that Obama was wearing an earpiece and Althouse is just trying to make him look bad by claiming he wasn't.
10.8.2008 1:46am
Randy R. (mail):
No, the question is who was wearing or not wearing the flag pin?
10.8.2008 1:50am
Michael B (mail):
Let's switch to a Palin/Obama format for the final debate. Please?
10.8.2008 2:07am
James Gibson (mail):
Oh forget that, someone confirm something for me. I heard this over the radio as I was driving. Barrack seemed to suggest he would put pressure on Iran through its lack of gasoline refining capability. In short he would hit them in their gas tanks. But according to T Boone Pickens, Iran is converting their vehicles over to run on Natural Gas. Iran is T Boone Pickens example of how we can stop using oil and run our vehicles on natural gas.

Thus, if Obama plans to use gasoline imports to put pressure on Iran, the policy will be dead before he even gets into office.
10.8.2008 2:19am
Crunchy Frog:
Isn't their lack of refining capacity their main excuse for wanting nuclear power?
10.8.2008 2:23am
Oren:
No, the question is who was wearing or not wearing the flag pin?
Doesn't matter, Palin has a bigger flag bin then both em.
10.8.2008 2:24am
Humphrey Bogus (mail):
Assume for a second that he had an earpiece on, which is quite obviously untrue (and the particular obsession with this on both sides is just odd--do they write their own speeches?).

More to the point, would anyone be satisfied with the quality of the answers that hypothetically emanate from said earpiece? I mean, if either candidate were wearing such a device, I'd be even more underwhelmed with his comments.
10.8.2008 3:58am
Blar (mail) (www):
How naive! But what do you expect from a man who would talk with Sarcastro without preconditions?
10.8.2008 6:30am
Ayers:
Why not just pin the earpiece next to the microphone, thus eliminating the middleman? Do I have to think of everything?
10.8.2008 6:59am
just me (mail):
More to the point, would anyone be satisfied with the quality of the answers that hypothetically emanate from said earpiece? I mean, if either candidate were wearing such a device, I'd be even more underwhelmed with his comments.

This I think is a good point.

If he was wearing an ear piece I would have expected better answers out of him. Actually I found a lot of his answers while not terrible, didn't have much substance either, they were more stump speech than real answers (although I think McCain's answers were also very stump speech, but I think he had more details without as much rambling).

So, if Obama was wearing an ear piece, he needs to put somebody different on the microphone for the next debate, because it sure as heck didn''t give him an advantage this time.
10.8.2008 7:08am
pmorem (mail):
It looks to me like a video artifact.
The whole frame looks just wrong.
I'm wondering what the hell the video engineers were doing to it, and whether they even knew.
10.8.2008 7:31am
Sam H (mail):
Crunchy Frog:"Isn't their lack of refining capacity their main excuse for wanting nuclear power?"

It may be their excuse this week, but it doesn't make sense. They generate electrical power with natural gas, no refining needed. Their big problem is lack of gasoline for cars and nuclear power isn't going to help with that.
10.8.2008 7:39am
Hoosier:
His answers were being fed to him through his earpiece? And yet he said that "If we could have" intervened to stop the Holocaust, we should have?

IF?!!

Who was at the microphone? One of my freshmen?
10.8.2008 7:45am
Sarcastro (www):
Not to mention Ayers totally wrote Obama's books.

In fact, have you seen both of them in the same room at the same time?

I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
10.8.2008 8:01am
Angus:

And yet he said that "If we could have" intervened to stop the Holocaust, we should have?
Yeah, this one was a puzzler.

Uncharitable reading: He doesn't know that the holocaust as it is understood didn't begin until after the Wannsee conference in January 1942, by which time the U.S. was already at war with Germany. What more moral justification do you need to intervene than an active war already underway?

Charitable reading: Was a reference to stopping (or at least slowing down) the death camps. The U.S. could easily have bombed rail lines in 1944 leading to places like Auschwitz, but did not. But again, there is no extra moral justification needed to bomb those lines -- we were at war with Germany.
10.8.2008 8:20am
JB:


More to the point, would anyone be satisfied with the quality of the answers that hypothetically emanate from said earpiece? I mean, if either candidate were wearing such a device, I'd be even more underwhelmed with his comments.


Actually, both candidates' hesitancy and quick changes of topic, often within the same sentence, are consistent with their being whispered to. I challenge you to sound coherent when someone's talking to you and you have to not repeat what they say but reformulate it into something that sounds good, while they're still talking.
10.8.2008 9:18am
Franklin Drackman:
Is there proof that Barak actually graduated from Harvard? At least McCain only wants to invade countries that haven't developed nuclear weapons yet. Maybe Palins ideas about these bein the End Times aren't so crazy after all.
10.8.2008 9:26am
loki13 (mail):

Oh forget that, someone confirm something for me. I heard this over the radio as I was driving. Barrack seemed to suggest he would put pressure on Iran through its lack of gasoline refining capability. In short he would hit them in their gas tanks. But according to T Boone Pickens, Iran is converting their vehicles over to run on Natural Gas. Iran is T Boone Pickens example of how we can stop using oil and run our vehicles on natural gas.

Thus, if Obama plans to use gasoline imports to put pressure on Iran, the policy will be dead before he even gets into office.


The first rule is: don't believe the stuff you're hearing on the radio.

The second rule is, think critically about what you're hearing.

What countries have fleets that run entirely on natural gas (answer- look to Brazil)?

What cars does Iran manufacture for natural gas? (basic manufacturing capacity)?

What would it take to convert the current gasoline distribution network in Iran to natural gas (pipelines for Natural gas, natural gas filling stations)?

Once all of those issues are solved, how are they going to retrofit their existing stock of cars to natural gas vehicles (see again Brazil, but at a cost)?

How will this happen in the first eight years of the Obama presidency, especially when the Iranians, while having vast reserves of natural gas, are unable to exploit them due to lack of investment?

In related news, I heard on the radio that I had a pony.
10.8.2008 9:34am
Arkakdy:
Well, McCain wasn't wearing hair plugs, although he sounded wistful when he referred to "gold-plated Cadillac kinds of policies" that allow for them. And, BTW, can anyone explain this to me?


I want to give every American a $5,000 refundable tax credit...

And if you do the math, those people who have employer-based health benefits, if you put the tax on it and you have what's left over [my emphasis] and you add $5,000 that you're going to get as a refundable tax credit, do the math, 95 percent of the American people will have increased funds to go out and buy the insurance of their choice and to shop around and to get -- all of those people will be covered except for those who have these gold-plated Cadillac kinds of policies.


That doesn't make any sense, does it? Suppose my employer-provided health benefits are worth, say, $10,000. You add this figure to my income and tax me on the now larger amount. But, I don't really have $10,000 in new income that I can spend. So, what is this stuff about "what's left over"? There's nothing left over. But, according to McCain, I'm free to take what's "left over," add the $5,000 credit he's going to give me, leave my employer-provided health plan, and go get another one. Is that correct? Am I missing something here?
10.8.2008 9:49am
Justin (mail):
"Orin Kerr is Sarcasto?"

Only when Gotham City turns on the Sacastrosign. Or during a full moon.
10.8.2008 9:58am
Vulpes Lagopus (mail):
If you just use Holosonic Audio spotlight, no one needs an earpiece.
10.8.2008 10:05am
Angus:
No, you aren't missing anything. McCain's plan is 4 stages:

1. Tax health benefits
2. Get employers to drop coverage for employees
3. Provide $5,000 for families to shop for health insurance plans than run more than double that amount
4. Save tons of money for big business, while absolving them of any feelings of guilt for the millions of additional Americans who will then have no health coverage

What it amounts to is that the average company will save about $7,000 per year per employee in health costs, and the employee then has to pay $7,000 per year more out of his/her own pocket to maintain coverage.

Interesting that McCain would criticize "Gold plated Cadillac" health coverage when he has the best health insurance coverage in the world through the Congress.
10.8.2008 10:07am
Angus:

Suppose my employer-provided health benefits are worth, say, $10,000. You add this figure to my income and tax me on the now larger amount. But, I don't really have $10,000 in new income that I can spend. So, what is this stuff about "what's left over"?
The argument I've seen is that your boss will pay you the extra $10,000 in salary rather than put it towards your health insurance. However, that assumption is a crock, in my opinion. I think 95% of companies will pocket that $10,000 themselves, and approximately 0% of companies would give the employee a full $10,000 raise.
10.8.2008 10:10am
Anderson (mail):
Charitable reading: Was a reference to stopping (or at least slowing down) the death camps.

Well, yeah -- what else could he have meant?

Without pronouncing on the subject either way, there is a lively debate as to whether such intervention was feasible or effective. Obama's in the mainstream by implying that it was not.
10.8.2008 10:23am
Thales (mail) (www):
And of course, Angela Lansbury was feeding McCain his lines, but she did with a much more sophisticated method than Obama's lame Ayers-meets--Cyrano earpiece: by pre-implanting them through brainwashing and hypnosis. Only Sinatra can save us . . . oh crap, he's dead!
10.8.2008 10:30am
Adam J:
Angus- Companies will end up giving us some piece thanks to market pressures, however giving us a tax credit in this ass backward way allows companies to pocket a significant portion of the credit.
10.8.2008 10:30am
Angus:
Companies will end up giving us some piece thanks to market pressures
Not sure I agree with this. Market pressure is to keep costs (i.e., salaries) as low as possible to maximize profits. I don't see how increased profits will automatically lead to higher salaries rather than higher dividends for shareholders, or incomes just for the business directors/owners.

For example, Ebay's Q2 profits were up 22% to $460 million. Their profits for Q3 are projected to be higher than Q2. However, Ebay just announced it was cutting 1,600 jobs, fully 1/10th of its workforce. Those profits obviously are not spilling down to employees.

Actually, I was waiting for Obama's response when McCain mentioned Ebay's Meg Whitman as possible SecTreas. "John, Ebay is making a profit of nearly $2 billion per year, but despite that just announced that they were firing 1,600 workers to improve their profits even more. That's who you want to put in charge of job creation?"
10.8.2008 10:59am
Smartest guy in the panic room:
The whole McCain health care nonsense is pretty awful. It already exists today in how you can consume health coverage. You can get pre-tax savings accounts privately or through some employer plans that let you avoid taxes on medical-related expenses, including purchasing an insurance plan. You can declare many medical costs as tax-deductible when you file. How is that different from McCain's plan? It is not different.

He's not selling any new ideas to you, and that idea is just as broken as it is today. If you make health care a total consumer choice, you will pay for other things first. Then when you don't get a physical or a screening, your health problems get chronic and far more expensive; your bronchitis turns into pneumonia as one simplistic example. Nobody saves anything in that broken system. You can bitch about Medicare but the consumption side of health care is what must change before you can reform the entitlement side.

If you force consumers to purchase insurance, similar to your car insurance or a penalty system like the current Mass health care initiative, then more people will be covered and there are more premium dollars in the system to help offset the costs from those who remain uninsured and rack up huge expenses that can often be prevented.
10.8.2008 11:03am
SP:
"Actually, I was waiting for Obama's response when McCain mentioned Ebay's Meg Whitman as possible SecTreas. "John, Ebay is making a profit of nearly $2 billion per year, but despite that just announced that they were firing 1,600 workers to improve their profits even more. That's who you want to put in charge of job creation?"

Meg Whitman's no longer in charge of eBay, so she had nothing to do with that decision. It would be like accusing McCain's PR man of lobbying for Fannie Mae, when he's been working exclusively for McCain for the past two years.
10.8.2008 11:08am
Ken Arromdee:
Not sure I agree with this. Market pressure is to keep costs (i.e., salaries) as low as possible to maximize profits.

By this reasoning, not only would companies not pay the employee the $10000 they save, they could equally well just reduce everyone's salary by $10000 right at this moment. Everyone would be earning minimum wage. They don't, because of competition in the market.
10.8.2008 11:10am
Angus:
Yeah, I know Whitman stepped down last year. Still would have been a good debate line. Shocking to think that politicians would stretch the truth!
10.8.2008 11:10am
Suzy (mail):
Wow, Althouse probably wishes she could delete that whole embarrassing thing right about now.

Anyway, I would be unable to afford the same level of health insurance under McCain's plan, and that's assuming I could get my child's pre-existing conditions covered at all. I don't know what he's thinking, but if he wins the election I'd be counting on Congress to rectify the problems in that proposal. Please!
10.8.2008 11:16am
Curt Fischer:

Not sure I agree with this. Market pressure is to keep costs (i.e., salaries) as low as possible to maximize profits. I don't see how increased profits will automatically lead to higher salaries rather than higher dividends for shareholders, or incomes just for the business directors/owners.



You seem to forget that (i) a company without any workers would be unable to make any profit, and (ii) companies compete with each other for labor.



For example, Ebay's Q2 profits were up 22% to $460 million. Their profits for Q3 are projected to be higher than Q2. However, Ebay just announced it was cutting 1,600 jobs, fully 1/10th of its workforce. Those profits obviously are not spilling down to employees.



First, what about the other NINE-TENTHS of employees? Now profit per employee will be at least 10% higher as a result of shedding all those jobs? Anyway, if those 1,600 jobs aren't necessary to increase profits, why have them?

Second, jobs are not a mechanism by which everyday people drain money out of profitable businesses. At least, they are not supposed to be. The job you have should contribute to the company's profitability, even after accounting for what they pay you. If it doesn't, for the sake of not only the company's shareholders, but also everyone else in our economy, it should be eliminated.
10.8.2008 11:17am
submandave (mail) (www):
Many people forget that the employer provided health care "standard" was largely a byproduct of the misguided wage control efforts of the Nixon Administration. When the employers were restricted from recruiting people with a larger salary they upped the fringe benefits, including health insurance.

I believe one problem with health care today is that the health insurance companies' customers are not the health care consumers but the companies that largely contract for their services. While consumer pressure would tend to reward the company that provides best service for best price, the main pressure from employers is often price alone.
10.8.2008 11:26am
Passerby:
Maybe Kerr wishes he could delete this embarrassing post as well?
10.8.2008 11:32am
nicestrategy (mail):

His answers were being fed to him through his earpiece? And yet he said that "If we could have" intervened to stop the Holocaust, we should have?
IF?!!
Who was at the microphone? One of my freshmen?


Uuuh, yeah, its a common misconception that we entered WWII to stop Hitler and the Holocaust. Lots of HS kids think this. Ask any historian, or any Jew: we didn't. We sat on our hands until Pearl Harbor (FDR's illegal battle of the Atlantic notwithstanding). The "final solution" was implemented after the Nazis had conquered most of Europe and that's not a coincidence. The policy choice not to try and bomb Auschwitz, other camps, and rail lines behind the front had pros and cons and I think we made the wrong choice, but even if we had made more of an attempt, we didn't have the power in 1943-44 to intervene and put an end to the Holocaust, our resources were deployed elsewhere and the Nazis were in a strong position. The Holocaust was mostly stopped by the advancing Soviet armies. Neither the USA or USSR was particularly motivated to stop the Holocaust so much as defeating the German war machine.

I'd prefer to have heard some greater nuance on this question, especially as it concerned refugees from Europe before the war. We couldn't intervene and simply put an end to Nazism by fiat, it took a major war, one we had good reason to try and avoid from an immediate self-interest point of view. Our long term interests, of course, would have been better served by willing to stand up to evil that threatened someone else first. Even so, short of war, there were things we could have done, but chose not to.

So, while Obama's answer is correct and understandable at one level -- we didn't have infinite power to just decide to end the Holocaust after 1942 -- the Holocaust didn't start in 1942, and it would have taken national leadership willing to explain our enlightened, long term interests as well as the morality of proactively helping the Jews, and that was lacking.

Believing that we did intervene to stop the Holocaust, perhaps an uncharitable reading of Hoosier's comment, now that would be something a uninformed freshmen might say.
10.8.2008 11:32am
Thales (mail) (www):
"By this reasoning, not only would companies not pay the employee the $10000 they save, they could equally well just reduce everyone's salary by $10000 right at this moment. Everyone would be earning minimum wage. They don't, because of competition in the market."

It's more complicated . . . the employers would pass some of the savings on, but there's no reason to think that it would be a simple linear, full cash back relationship--it depends on the slope of laborers' demand curves and so forth. And employees currently do not pay taxes on in-kind benefits, whereas they would on the extra cash. And of course, without employers providing the health care and the (arguable) economies of scale of group plans involving big pools to spread risks around, individual health policies could well wind up being more expensive. The health insurance companies currently are largely exempt from antitrust regulation, and there's every reason to think that they would act more anticompetitively (i.e. to the detriment of consumers purchasing the plans, now on their own) if allowed to under another Republican administration.
10.8.2008 11:34am
Bruce:
That wasn't an earpiece. It was an external battery pack for Obama's cyborg brain.
10.8.2008 11:56am
Anderson (mail):
Wow, Althouse probably wishes she could delete that whole embarrassing thing right about now.

She could delete it, it's her blog. Trouble is, she's not embarrassed. Althouse is blessedly incapable of recognizing her own inanity.

Nicestrategy is correct about America and the Holocaust; we were at best indifferent and at worst unwilling to help (the Bermuda Conference, anyone?). I have never found it plausible that the Allies couldn't have figured out some way to bomb the rail lines into Auschwitz and other camps, though how lasting a solution that would've been, I dunno. It would at least have been an effort.

The best that can be said is that the top Allied leaders had a lot of other things on their minds and could not fundamentally believe what was happening to the Jews. As Herman Wouk pointed out in one of his novels, many of the Jews had a hard time believing it too, until it was too late.
10.8.2008 12:01pm
Smartest guy in the panic room:
Individual coverage would definitely be more expensive than grouped/pooled coverages. There is a good reason why many benefit sourcing companies will not take on clients that have less than 1500 employees.

The actuarial risk of understanding the cost of employee claims goes down at that 1500-person data point, so it's easier to understand who will have cancer claims, who will have heart attack claims, etc.

Without that large data set, predicting claim costs for the year ahead (which is how insurance companies know what to charge an employer for health insurance each year) becomes difficult. The insurance companies then have to hedge their bets and the employer ends up paying a lot more for the same level of coverage...
10.8.2008 12:03pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> What cars does Iran manufacture for natural gas? (basic manufacturing capacity)?

Iran doesn't manufacture any cars. The folks who actually make cars can easily make them to run on natural gas instead. The added cost is under $100.

> Once all of those issues are solved, how are they going to retrofit their existing stock of cars to natural gas vehicles (see again Brazil, but at a cost)?

I knew "shade tree" mechanics in the US who were doing conversions in the mid-60s. It costs about $100 (including tank) in parts but it may cost a bit more to convert a fuel-injected car.

google "natural gas car conversion"

> What would it take to convert the current gasoline distribution network in Iran to natural gas (pipelines for Natural gas, natural gas filling stations)?

They don't have to convert anything. (We don't pipe gasoline to gas stations so why would they have to pipe natural gas to filling stations?)

Tank-based natural gas delivery can use the same roads that gasoline tank trucks use. (Worst case - instead of picking up gasoline at the dock where gas imports come in, they'll pick up NG at the NG dock instead of exporting it. More likely, they pick up NG closer to the source.)

Tank-based NG filling stations are very inexpensive - tanks are low-tech (inexpensive). The expensive part is the meter, but it's less than $500.

Of course, any place that has natural gas piped in (as a gas) can be a filling station - you just need a compressor. Honda sells expensive ($3500) ones for home use in the US but it's trivial to do it for a lot less.

A lot of US biz have been using NG for vehicles for quite a while. They have their own tanks. They replaced gasoline tanks at their "fleet yard".
10.8.2008 12:31pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Many people forget that the employer provided health care "standard" was largely a byproduct of the misguided wage control efforts of the Nixon Administration. When the employers were restricted from recruiting people with a larger salary they upped the fringe benefits, including health insurance.
Actually, it was a byproduct of wage freezes in WW2, but your point stands.
10.8.2008 12:59pm
James Gibson (mail):
Thank you Andy Freeman for responding to Loki13. A few more points.

The first rule is: don't believe the stuff you're hearing on the radio. Loki13, are you talking about what Obama said during the debate or Pickens proposal.

The second rule is, think critically about what you're hearing. Loki, I have two degrees in engineering and have been reviewing the Pickens plan.

What countries have fleets that run entirely on natural gas (answer- look to Brazil) I live in Los Angeles and practically every bus here runs on NG for smog control.

What cars does Iran manufacture for natural gas? Again, as Andy said they don't need to. New cars are bought from europe or Asia designed to run on compressed NG. As for Older vehicles, these are converted all the time to run on different mediums. In nations were safety laws exist conversions are expensive but well done. In areas were the rules are lax the conversions are cheap, just not as reliable as one would like. In Iran they are very cheap.

What would it take to convert the current gasoline distribution network in Iran to natural gas? How much of a network do they even have today. Developing countries have a far easier time setting up infrastructure then developed countries because developed countries have to build the new while maintaining the old.

How will this happen in the first eight years of the Obama presidency? The "first" eight years. How long do you expect Obama to be in office?? We do have a law passed after FDR that limits presidents to only two four year terms. or are you expecting Michelle to run after Obama.
10.8.2008 1:05pm
Xanthippas (mail) (www):

Charitable reading: Was a reference to stopping (or at least slowing down) the death camps. The U.S. could easily have bombed rail lines in 1944 leading to places like Auschwitz, but did not. But again, there is no extra moral justification needed to bomb those lines -- we were at war with Germany.


It's more likely he meant intervene to stop it before it began, when we could have actually stopped it. At least, that was my immediate understanding of his comment.
10.8.2008 1:55pm
Sarcastro (www):
William Ayers has the vowel 'i' twice in his name. Add up the amount of i's in the name 'Sarah Palin' (one) to the amount of i's in the name John McCain (one) and you get two i's. The same number as in the name of domestic terrorist William Ayers.

We can't win this election!
10.8.2008 2:08pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
It's more complicated . . . the employers would pass some of the savings on, but there's no reason to think that it would be a simple linear, full cash back relationship--it depends on the slope of laborers' demand curves and so forth.
What "savings"? Companies aren't under any obligation to provide health insurance now. If they didn't want to compensate employees by that amount, why wouldn't they just, you know, stop giving them health insurance?
10.8.2008 2:09pm
Captain Ramen (mail):
I can't speak for other employees, but this is how it works for my wife: She has her base salary + allowance she can put towards health care premiums, life insurance and some other fringe benefits. She can opt for no fringe benefits. In that case she gets to pocket the allowance but must pay income tax on it.

I on the other hand am Self Employed. Since I buy health care myself, I can claim it on Schedule C, but I must still pay self employment tax (FICA) on it. Why should it mnatter what form employee compensation takes? It should still be subject to FICA.

So what the McCain plan would do is correct this inequality - and businesses will still be able to decuct health care costs on their regular income taxes.

And BTW, in my wife's scenario, she had 3 plans to choose from. Since I had to get my own health insurance, I went online,and had at least 10 plans to choose from. Her premium (which covers both of us) is 8 times higher than mine (which only covered me).
10.8.2008 2:30pm
zippypinhead:
WF wrote:
Orin Kerr is Sarcasto?

Sorry guys, WF won the thread waaaaay back on the 7th comment. Move along please, nothing left to see here... ;~)


[and Professor Kerr as Sarcastro explains a LOT... makes almost as much sense as the allegation that Dave Kopel is really a pro-gun control spy for the Brady Campaign...]
10.8.2008 4:08pm
Philistine (mail):

And BTW, in my wife's scenario, she had 3 plans to choose from. Since I had to get my own health insurance, I went online,and had at least 10 plans to choose from. Her premium (which covers both of us) is 8 times higher than mine (which only covered me).


If her premium is so much more--why don't you both get the same insurance you had before? Are the benefits that different?
10.8.2008 4:54pm
Hoosier:
The real truth about BHO: He needs to eat a few burgers and play less hoops if he wants to fill up that suit.
10.8.2008 5:47pm
Curt Fischer:

Thales: And of course, without employers providing the health care and the (arguable) economies of scale of group plans involving big pools to spread risks around, individual health policies could well wind up being more expensive. The health insurance companies currently are largely exempt from antitrust regulation, and there's every reason to think that they would act more anticompetitively (i.e. to the detriment of consumers purchasing the plans, now on their own) if allowed to under another Republican administration.


I don't see how employer-provided health care provides "economies of scale". Health insurance companies will seek out many subscribers, regardless of whether they all work for the same company, in order to spread the risk around. That's the fundamental idea of insurance.

On anti-competitive behavior, my instincts say that if anything, anti-competitive behavior would be more prevalent under employer-provided care, given that the who's in charge of buying the health care (the company) is not often the same as the ones using the health care(the workers)...but that's just my instinct....I don't know anything about the legal status of health insurers, and would love to learn more. What regulations are health insurers exempt from?
10.8.2008 5:58pm
wolfefan (mail):
Just as an FYI for those saying that Althouse is a right winger - today she ended her enforced "cruel neutrality" and pretty much endorsed Obama.
10.8.2008 8:57pm
p. rich (mail) (www):
Althouse, a consummate lefty BS artist and law prof (who never looks at anything to the right of the NY Times), has always intended to vote for Obama, barring some extremely unlikely turnoff - like his recently discovered membership in the Socialist New Party and their endorsement of him in Chicago.

...

No, wait, that won't do it. Althouse lives in Madison and teaches at UWM. Socialists are just "people who live in the neighborhood".
10.8.2008 10:56pm
SATA_Interface:
What is happening to the Captain is that his wife's employer likely has a high claims cost with their insurance companies, and to boot it sounds like the employer does not kick in much money at all. Could be a high-risk workplace. (maybe stress, industrial safety, or both) The third strike sounds like they only offer individual or family coverage (meaning spouse and adjusting for 1.5 children) instead of individual, individual + spouse, or family coverage. That means the company is willing to make DINKs pay for the families with children in the premium cost.
10.9.2008 1:03am