• My post-debate thoughts

    Again, I’ll stick to my strengths. For more passionate ramblings on other topics covered in the debate, follow me on twitter at @aaronecarroll.

    Let’s start here with the moment I screamed at the TV. I’m sorry, but the audience cheering the idea of letting a thirty-year old who got sick without insurance die is appalling. You can dislike the moral hazard, you can bemoan the fact that people don’t take enough personal responsibility, you can even wish that society wouldn’t have to be on the hook when uninsured people get sick. But don’t take pleasure in that fact. Right now, there are thirty-year olds who don’t have jobs, can’t find work, and can’t afford insurance. Letting them die if they get sick is not “good”. It’s not even “freedom”. Applauding that is depressing.

    Governor Romney’s claim that the major difference between Massachusetts and the ACA is that he didn’t have to raise taxes to pay for it  is a bit disingenuous, since he used a ton of federal money to pay for his reforms.

    The continued rage against opt-out vaccine policy is unsettling. This isn’t new. Yes, the HPV vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted disease, and I understand (while not agreeing ) with the moral hazard argument that some feel with respect to that vaccine. But Hepatitis B is also a sexually transmitted disease; do they oppose that vaccine, too? And will these candidates follow through and fight all opt-out vaccines? If not, they are playing a dangerous game with an issue that should not be politicized.

    Finally, it saddens me every time these candidates rail against any cuts to Medicare. If we don’t find a way to stop demonizing that, we’re never going to get our fiscal house in order.

    That is all.

    • You analysis seems to be self contradictory.

      If someone came out and said, yes, in order to bring Medicare back into long-term actuarial balance, seniors are going to have to accept that they must accept a lower level of some of their benefits, would it have been OK to agree but wrong to applaud?

      Here’s the applauding part, if anyone wants to see it for themselves: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php

      • It has been recognized here that utilization is too high in some areas. Cutbacks are probably needed in some areas. Ones noted on this blog would be some kinds of prostate cancer treatments and back surgeries. I dont want to speak for the authors here, but I dont think any would applaud needing to do so. What I do not understand, as Aaron points out, is applauding the death of another person under these conditions. I have sometimes made the case that we should let these kinds of people suffer the consequences of their decisions. I would not celebrate their death.


    • “Right now, there are thirty-year olds who don’t have jobs, can’t find work, and can’t afford insurance.”

      True… but that was specifically not the case in this particular hypothetical, and that distinction is important. The question asked to Paul was about a 30 year-old who has a good job, access to insurance and money to pay for it, but decides not to. This person has made a decision that a) he will not get sick, or b) if he does, someone else will take care of it for him.

      I’ve been a caretaker (and partner) to an almost 30-year old man who did not have the luxury to refuse coverage, having lost his job due to the cancer and the insurance soon after. The idea that the very limited pool of healthcare still available to us, to poor families, and those with preexisting conditions would be diluted by some privileged person who simply doesn’t think they should have to have any skin the game incenses me.

      I’m not ready to cheer for anyone’s death, but as I read responses to the debate tonight I’m struck by how many of them ignore the actual example in favor of linkbait headlines about how Ron Paul and/or the Tea Party wants poor uninsured people to die.

      • Fair point, but this was a made up example for a debate. What would likely happen is that the patient would still get emergency care, which we would pay for, then receive inadequate follow up, unless he is in the correct socioeconomic group. If his parents are well connected, he will still get care.


    • Ya’ know, I thought I misheard when there was shouting at the debaters. There must have been some misunderstanding. But no, they were actually cheering that the uninsured would die. These are EVIL people.

    • I presume it was the same group that cheered when Rick Perry was asked about Texas having the highest number of executions in the US.

      I too would go with “evil.”