There must be a pony in here somewhere.

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Hugh Akston
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Hugh Akston » 17 Dec 2018, 22:09

I'm not going to respond to your individual points because they don't seem to be aimed at me or in response to anything I've said.

If Amazon uses the money I give them to buy a robot forklift for one of their DCs, I didn't buy a robot forklift.
If the government uses the money I give them to buy hospital-buster bombs for their drones, I didn't buy those either.

Bottom line, if it's not my money and I didn't have any say in how it was spent, it's not clear that I've purchased anything.
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JasonL
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 17 Dec 2018, 22:21

Yeah as in the other thread you make little sense there.

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JasonL
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 17 Dec 2018, 22:31

But - ok. Let’s set aside the idea of a purchase. Provision of a service. Why is it worse in any effective way to impose a penalty for non purchase through private providers than it is to impose a tax to supply the same from the government? Isn’t the latter less liberal in most dimensions?

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Jennifer
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Jennifer » 17 Dec 2018, 23:12

JasonL wrote:
17 Dec 2018, 22:31
But - ok. Let’s set aside the idea of a purchase. Provision of a service. Why is it worse in any effective way to impose a penalty for non purchase through private providers than it is to impose a tax to supply the same from the government? Isn’t the latter less liberal in most dimensions?
All of us are in a way "responsible" for upkeep of the roads, in the sense that we all pay taxes and some of that tax money is spent on road maintenance and snow removal and whatnot. Would you see no difference if things changed so that instead, each of us is personally and directly responsible for hiring a private company to perform X road maintenance tasks -- presuming the amount we spend to hire this company is about the same as what we pay now in road-maintenance taxes?
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JasonL
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 07:08

No difference that matters. Am I being forced to pay for the service? Yes. This is a strange aesthetic thing.

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nicole
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by nicole » 18 Dec 2018, 07:40

JasonL wrote:
17 Dec 2018, 22:31
But - ok. Let’s set aside the idea of a purchase. Provision of a service. Why is it worse in any effective way to impose a penalty for non purchase through private providers than it is to impose a tax to supply the same from the government? Isn’t the latter less liberal in most dimensions?
Because the insurance companies helped write the law that directs millions (billions?) of dollars their way.

I mean it’s not like I think taxes are good. Taxes are bad. But taxes aren’t the same as directing citizens to prop up private companies whose executives and shareholders are directly enriching themselves. When we all know they were involved in the lobbying process.
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 07:45

I get that but compared to other concepts in play? It’s a secondary concern at best. Someone has to provide the service. If it’s single payer or some other massive expansion of Medicare am I supposed to act like that’s not political force rewarding interested parties?

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nicole
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by nicole » 18 Dec 2018, 08:49

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 07:45
I get that but compared to other concepts in play? It’s a secondary concern at best. Someone has to provide the service. If it’s single payer or some other massive expansion of Medicare am I supposed to act like that’s not political force rewarding interested parties?
No. But I mean, this is only a few years ago, and we can all remember that it couldn’t have passed if it was structured differently. It couldn’t have passed with tax increases instead of forced premium spending. If it can’t pass while calling he penalty a tax, but can only be constitutional if it’s a tax...we all know it was a huge scam.
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 10:37

nicole wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 08:49
JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 07:45
I get that but compared to other concepts in play? It’s a secondary concern at best. Someone has to provide the service. If it’s single payer or some other massive expansion of Medicare am I supposed to act like that’s not political force rewarding interested parties?
No. But I mean, this is only a few years ago, and we can all remember that it couldn’t have passed if it was structured differently. It couldn’t have passed with tax increases instead of forced premium spending. If it can’t pass while calling he penalty a tax, but can only be constitutional if it’s a tax...we all know it was a huge scam.
I see that entirely differently. We all know what was in the bill in terms of penalties. Everyone who voted for it knew that too. We all agree you could call it a tax formally if you wanted to with no mathematical difference at all. The essence of the thing is entirely constitutional and perfectly normal but we are acting like calling it a tax makes it somehow above board even, again, with something exactly mathematically equivalent as was just passed. Who is engaging in shenanigans if we all know an identical set of rules is above board?

If we just had one sentence that says "this can be deemed as an increase of taxes on all americans exactly equal to the penalty which is immediately deducted from everyone except those who buy insurance", the whole thing goes away, but we are supposed to act like that clause, even though it's completely meaningless, would be The Thing That Makes ACA Pass Muster?

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nicole
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by nicole » 18 Dec 2018, 11:44

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 10:37
nicole wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 08:49
JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 07:45
I get that but compared to other concepts in play? It’s a secondary concern at best. Someone has to provide the service. If it’s single payer or some other massive expansion of Medicare am I supposed to act like that’s not political force rewarding interested parties?
No. But I mean, this is only a few years ago, and we can all remember that it couldn’t have passed if it was structured differently. It couldn’t have passed with tax increases instead of forced premium spending. If it can’t pass while calling he penalty a tax, but can only be constitutional if it’s a tax...we all know it was a huge scam.
I see that entirely differently. We all know what was in the bill in terms of penalties. Everyone who voted for it knew that too. We all agree you could call it a tax formally if you wanted to with no mathematical difference at all. The essence of the thing is entirely constitutional and perfectly normal but we are acting like calling it a tax makes it somehow above board even, again, with something exactly mathematically equivalent as was just passed. Who is engaging in shenanigans if we all know an identical set of rules is above board?

If we just had one sentence that says "this can be deemed as an increase of taxes on all americans exactly equal to the penalty which is immediately deducted from everyone except those who buy insurance", the whole thing goes away, but we are supposed to act like that clause, even though it's completely meaningless, would be The Thing That Makes ACA Pass Muster?
It wouldn't be meaningless though. It would literally have prevented people from voting for the law, preventing the law from passing.
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Warren
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Warren » 18 Dec 2018, 11:59

JasonL,
Please don't take this the wrong way. Fuck you to death.
My High Deductible plan is increased to $410/month. The cheapest plan from healthcare.gov is $900/month. Medicaid wont take me. If the VA doesn't take me (and there's a good chance they won't since I cashed in a one time BtC windfall this year) I'll have to go without health insurance. Which means going without healthcare period because without an insurance company to negotiate the price, health care providers bill you Bahamas vacation money just for walking in the door.
So no, the mandatory purchase is not even remotely like a tax. Not even remotely.
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JasonL
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 12:26

Warren - it’s mathematically identical to raise taxes then deduct for everyone except those who don’t purchase insurance. Not similar. Identical. Don’t like ACA that’s fine but that’s not some kind of philosophical point about purchase vs government provision.

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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by lunchstealer » 18 Dec 2018, 13:17

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 12:26
Warren - it’s mathematically identical to raise taxes then deduct for everyone except those who don’t purchase insurance. Not similar. Identical. Don’t like ACA that’s fine but that’s not some kind of philosophical point about purchase vs government provision.
Yeah but there are considerations beyond the mathematical. I'm not mandated to mortgage a home. It'd be mathematically identical if I was able to deduct $5k from my taxes if I had a qualifying mortgage (that cost more than the $5k deduction) or if there was a mandate that I had a mortgage and a $5k tax penalty if I didn't have a mortgage.

Structuring taxes to favor specific spending is non-ideal but it's a thing. Mandating private for-profit transactions for every American (except the indigent and elderly) is not a message that government should reasonably send and it's not unreasonable to object to it even if the math works out identically to an unmandated tax-advantaged transaction.

That the math is the same is not the point.
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 13:47

The incentives are the same, the coverage effects are the same, the boon to insurers is the same, the incidence is the same, the total revenue is the same, and the math of individual cost is the same. Consequences of non purchase are the same. It's the same.

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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Warren » 18 Dec 2018, 14:47

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 12:26
Warren - it’s mathematically identical to raise taxes then deduct for everyone except those who don’t purchase insurance. Not similar. Identical. Don’t like ACA that’s fine but that’s not some kind of philosophical point about purchase vs government provision.
Bull fucking shit it is. You can raise my income tax to 200%. Let me do the math here. Nothing times 200 is....
JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 13:47
The incentives are the same, the coverage effects are the same, the boon to insurers is the same, the incidence is the same, the total revenue is the same, and the math of individual cost is the same. Consequences of non purchase are the same. It's the same.
Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Not same
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 15:11

The ACA penalty right now is calculated against household income covering dependents. I could call it a household tax covering dependents the same way. Same effect. I wouldn't have to change method of calculation, method of administration, nothing.

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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 15:14

I'm also pretty sure the penalty for a single member household of zero income is zero dollars, so ...

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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Warren » 18 Dec 2018, 15:16

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:14
I'm also pretty sure the penalty for a single member household of zero income is zero dollars, so ...
So the price of insurance to me personally is NOT THE SAME
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 15:19

You mean because the price went up? In the hypothetical model where you just call it a tax the same incentive to buy exists and the providers face the same incentives. Price goes up there too.

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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Jennifer » 18 Dec 2018, 15:25

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 07:08
No difference that matters. Am I being forced to pay for the service? Yes. This is a strange aesthetic thing.
I'd say there IS a big difference between "you must pay taxes anyway, some of which is spent on road maintenance" (or health care, as the case may be) versus "you must contact X private company and make arrangements to get that pothole fixed." Putting you, personally, on the hook for road repairs puts an additional onus on you, in addition to the issue Lunchstealer (IIRC) brought up regarding Americans being legally obligated to do business with a for-profit private company.
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Jennifer » 18 Dec 2018, 15:26

That said, Jason: if you DO insist they're both the same, then why NOT just have taxes pay for it directly and cut out the legal requirement for Americans to do business with for-profit middlemen?
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JasonL
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 15:37

I'm not a super fan of ACA, though my preferred solution would be to retain elements of it rather than go single payer. The government collecting the money and controlling the whole process end to end it is to me not just kinda but very obviously worse than me having a choice about elements of the process like choice among plans etc. What I think is crazy is that you'd be all "yeah the government running all aspects of healthcare and taking the money from you up front is totally less offensive freedom wise." That's absolute insanity to me. They get no extra credit because they aren't "for profit". They are the freaking GOVERNMENT.

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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Jennifer » 18 Dec 2018, 17:07

JasonL wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:37
I'm not a super fan of ACA, though my preferred solution would be to retain elements of it rather than go single payer. The government collecting the money and controlling the whole process end to end it is to me not just kinda but very obviously worse than me having a choice about elements of the process like choice among plans etc. What I think is crazy is that you'd be all "yeah the government running all aspects of healthcare and taking the money from you up front is totally less offensive freedom wise." That's absolute insanity to me. They get no extra credit because they aren't "for profit". They are the freaking GOVERNMENT.
But at least government paying for it directly out of the tax money we-all have to pay anyway does not entail creating an entire new "crime" (not-having health insurance) for which people can be punished. (And even the vaunted "choice" of which private company gets your legally mandated business means little when those choices are first vetted by the government. Reminds me of something I read about another country -- I wanna say Iran -- they're democratic in the sense that people get to vote for their leader -- but it's the leadership class who decides which candidates get on the ballot in the first place. The voters only have the illusion of choice.)
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by lunchstealer » 18 Dec 2018, 18:15

in law, sometimes words matter, and I really don't love that the words 'mandate' and 'for everyone' and 'to buy a product from a set of approved businesses' are put together in a law. That there's a way to accomplish the same mathematical incentive without using those words makes the transgression worse not better. Sometimes language is how the camel gets his nose in the tent.
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Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL » 18 Dec 2018, 19:24

I mean I appreciate the poetry, and maybe it would be better to call it a tax, but, again - the alternative is the camel trampling all over the tent forever. Handing over all features of medicine to the government directly forever, apparently not nearly as offensive as nose in the tent?

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