Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bipartisan stupidity

Both the left and right blogospheres are up in arms about a proposal by the Obama Administration to have the VA bill private health insurers for service-related conditions. At which point, my bullshit detector goes off and I go research and say, oooh, boy. What a bunch of pantywaists.

See, here's the deal: The VA proposal would not deny care to a single veteran. The veteran would show up at the VA as usual for care for his service-related conditions. The VA would take care of the veteran as usual. *IF* the veteran had private insurance because, for example, he worked for a large corporation and was covered under that large corporation's group policy, the VA would also bill that private insurer thus helping out the VA budget by skimming some of health insurers' obscene profits. If the veteran did not, the VA would still provide care as under the current system.

In short, I'm trying to figure out why so many people have their panties in a wad, and I ain't seein' it. I can see why health insurers would be screaming bloody murder because the administration is threatening to skim some of their obscene profits to help cover veterans' health care expenses. But why are so many left-wing bloggers going along with this bullshit, giving cover to obscenely profitable health insurers who are upset that they will be required to, like, actually spend some money on health care? This penguin is confused!

-- Badtux the Health Care Penguin

PS: Screaming health insurers and their useful idiots on the left and right have successfully defeated this proposal to tax their insane profits in order to help improve veteran's health care. Way to go, useful idiots!


  1. Good point, Badtux, thanks.

    If you have any links related to that I'd appreciate them.

  2. Because they got injured doing the public's work and it is the public's responsibility to care for them. I don't give a damn about the insurance companies, they are all greedy fuckers. This is about making the government do what it is morally obligated to do and not dump the responsibility onto others.

    "We made a mess, you clean it up" is something I'd have expected from the addle-pated children running the Bush Administration.

  3. If you don't give a damn about the insurance companies, why are you so against the VA billing them?

    This isn't about "the government" (i.e., YOU AND I, this is a DEMOCRACY, not some sort of fascist dictatorship where "the government" is imposed upon us from outside) somehow "dumping" the responsibility for caring for veterans onto someone else. It's still the VA's responsibility to care for those veterans whether they issue a bill to an insurance company or not. This is all about the government trying to skim some of those obscene profits to help pay for veteran's care rather than raising taxes on you and I. We all pay for it in the end, it's just a question of taxing the people with the obscene profits rather than those of us barely scraping by.

    I just don't get it why you prefer paying higher taxes rather than basically raising taxes on health insurers. Or why you would believe that VA Chief General Eric Shinseki -- fired for telling the truth to Congress about how many soldiers it would take to properly occupy Iraq -- would lie today when he states that there is no proposal to deny health care coverage to veterans. You seem to be operating under some sort of bizarro world conspiracy theory where General Eric Shinseki would kick injured soldiers out of VA hospitals. I don't know what General Shinseki did to you that makes you believe such evil things of him, but the man's record simply does not fit the notion that he's a liar who would kick veterans out onto the street.

    - Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

  4. IAVA Executive Director Outlines Veterans' Opposition to Third-Party Billing

    So your premiums don't go up, and guys who got their legs blown off and their brains rattled have chance to get a job with a small business.

    Anyway the point is moot, the Obama administration backed off.

    Applauds Obama Administration’s Focus on Veterans Issues

  5. Well, discriminating against veterans by insurers and employers could be addressed via legislation -- and *should* be addressed via legislation. We sent these kids into combat, we ought not to be allowed to just throw them onto the streets like so much rubbish.

    The rest of this is just a bunch of "useful idiots" getting riled up by agents of the health insurers. I wonder how much money health insurers paid to those veterans groups to get the word out that health insurer profits were at risk?

    - Badtux the Conspiracy Penguin

  6. they were discussing legislation, bad legislation and now the matters has been dropped.

    Come on Badtux, it's not like you to cling to a bad idea.

  7. Uhm, I suggest you read that article that you link to again. It doesn't say what you are purporting that it says (other than that the matter has been dropped, which I've updated my post to mention roughly 2 hours before you posted your link), and doesn't mention legislation at all.

    And I'm a stubborn mule when it comes to pointing out idiocies, whether they're being done by people on the right or by people on the left. If you want a partisan hack, you're in the wrong place.

    In this case, the health insurers got veterans' groups to do their dirty work of protecting their profits for them, with the help of a lot of left and right wing bloggers screaming health insurers' talking points to everybody under the sun and newspapers quite willing to publish these talking points as "news". The health insurance companies are the elephant in the room here that everybody pretends isn't there. Well, I'm not so good at ignoring elephants when I see them tip-toeing around behind the curtains, sorry...

    - Badtux the Literate Penguin

  8. Well said. People do not read between the lines they just make crap up

  9. Just follow the money. That's all I say.

  10. So you know insurance. Look, you were right.
    White House Makes Correct Decision On Veterans Insurance Proposal
    ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --


    I know vets.


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