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Republicans Creating National Health Insurance Exchange?

[ Posted Monday, January 7th, 2013 – 16:13 PST ]

What with all the fiscal cliffery in the past few weeks, a few important news stories got short shrift from the chattering classes ensconced within the Beltway. With the pundits all now apparently ready and willing to chase the next shiny, shiny object in the budgetary battles (debt ceiling! platinum coins!) or perhaps to obsess over Chuck Hagel's nomination to Secretary of Defense, the story of Republican governors across the land ushering in a new era of federal control over health insurance was barely noted. This is a shame, because the irony of their stance is so downright amusing.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as "Obamacare") put Republican governors between an ideological rock and a very hard place for conservatives. After losing their court challenge on the constitutionality of Obamacare, each state's governor was faced with a clear choice: either set up a state-run health insurance marketplace (or "exchange"), or refuse to do so and pass the buck to the federal government, which will set up an exchange for states who opt not to create one on their own.

In political terms, this meant a choice between going along with Obamacare -- something Republicans swore they'd never do -- or going against one of the tenets of conservative ideology. Most people, if asked, would likely say that there are some things the federal government does best, and some things state governments do best. Conservatives, however, believe (as one of the pillars of their faith) that all government is bad, and the bigger it gets the worse it is. This means that the states will always do a better job at just about anything government is supposed to do than the big, bad federal government. The more local government is, the better it responds to The People, so all government should always devolve downwards in scope.

You can see the conundrum this sets up. On any new governmental program the feds propose, the best option for conservatives is to have the states run and administer it. This is basic conservative dogma. But when the government program is one that your party has spent the past few years likening to doomsday, it's hard to pivot to "getting with the program" in any sort of fashion.

Republicans, for the most part, still believe that Obamacare is going to be an unmitigated disaster. So most of them chose to opt out, and just hand the responsibility of administering their states' exchanges over to the equally-hated federal government. This way (they must be thinking), when Obamacare collapses, they won't face any political blowback at the state level. So while it must have been tempting for Republican governors to jump at the chance to gain power at the expense of the federal government, most of them decided to just punt it back to the feds.

This isn't universal. At least four states led by Republicans have opted in and will set up their own exchanges. A total of seventeen states (so far) have been approved to run their own exchanges. But over half of the states -- most of them Republican-led -- have decided to punt. Just by looking at a map of which state falls into which category clearly shows this partisan divide.

Now, you can speculate why Republican governors decided to let a government program in their state be run by the federal government instead of taking the duty on for themselves. Perhaps they just dislike Obamacare (or Obama, for that matter) so much they don't want to have anything to do with his namesake health insurance program. Or perhaps they just expect the entire exercise to fail miserably, and they want no part in the upcoming disaster they see on the horizon. Or perhaps they have other reasons for opting out.

But no matter what the reason, these governors have now set up an interesting dynamic which could lead to a result they are likely not even anticipating: the creation of a truly national health insurance exchange. To put it another way: the federalization of the health insurance market. Since the federal government is going to be setting up exchanges in over half the states, they are obviously going to benefit from what the green-visored types refer to as "economies of scale." If you are tasked with setting up an exchange for one state, then setting one up for another state becomes easier. You learn from the process, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel 25 times. Whole layers of bureaucracy can be eliminated, due to duplication of efforts not being necessary. That's the theory, at any rate.

Republicans are betting the system won't work and will be hated by the public. They may, however, lose this bet. If the exchanges go through their startup period (where there are bound to be some problems) but then become widely accepted after the bugs are worked out, then Republicans will have cut themselves out of the picture entirely. Instead of their much-vaunted state governments being in charge of things, the federal government will be running the entire show.

In fact, if the federally-run exchanges for the states which have opted out become successful enough, the remaining states which have set their own exchanges up may eventually be tempted to just hand their exchanges over to the feds as well. If the federal system is working, then why duplicate their effort at the state level?

By deciding to distance themselves from the whole Obamacare system, the Republicans may actually usher in an even-bigger ideological nightmare for them: a truly national health insurance exchange. Now, it won't be the progressive dream of "national health" or even "the public option" -- not by a long shot. But a successful federal program operating in the majority of states would certainly pave the way towards either of those goals a lot more effectively than 50 separate exchanges, many run by Republican administrations.

Which is where things get ironic. What if Republican disdain for Obamacare brings about a truly federal system of health insurance exchanges? Republicans, throughout the whole health insurance debate, darkly warned of the federal government "taking over" the health insurance industry. But what will they say when they realize that the feds didn't need to "take over" anything, because Republican governors actually handed over these reins to the federal government in the first place?

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

65 Comments on “Republicans Creating National Health Insurance Exchange?”

  1. [1] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Seems like it would be much more efficient to simply have a single federal health insurance program.

    Maybe Republicans governors are actually for it? They just can't say it?

    -David

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seems like it would be much more efficient to simply have a single federal health insurance program.

    And yet, for countries that DO have single federal health insurance programs, it's a disaster...

    Massively long waits for treatment. Incompetence and fraud are rampant...

    What makes anyone think it will be different here in the US??

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Massively long waits for treatment. Incompetence and fraud are rampant.

    Sure they are ...

    I know a lot of people in other countries, Michale. And none of them say this and all of them are thankful for it.

    Isn't it funny that the only place you hear this marketing is in the US?

    Where we have the highest healthcare costs per person in the world.

    -David

  4. [4] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But ... if Republican states don't like the Federal system ... they have the freedom to create their own.

    Maybe, they should lead on the issue rather than punt to the Federal government. No?

    -David

  5. [5] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I know a lot of people in other countries, Michale. And none of them say this and all of them are thankful for it.

    Hi!

  6. [6] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Wow I've never seen a Congressman being stupid enough to fall for the Onion but there you go...

    http://literallyunbelievable.org/post/17153265749/how-exactly-did-you-get-elected

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know a lot of people in other countries, Michale. And none of them say this and all of them are thankful for it.

    So, because none of YOUR friends say it, that means it doesn't exist??? :D

    Once again, I may have been born at night, but not LAST night. :D

    Wow I've never seen a Congressman being stupid enough to fall for the Onion but there you go...

    Really??

    Then you missed when John Kerry went on a rant about voter intimidation based on a story he read in The Onion.. :D

    Thereby proving once again, there is no slam or attack ya'all can make against the Right that can also be made against the Left.. :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    michty6 wrote:

    So, because none of YOUR friends say it, that means it doesn't exist??? :D

    Once again, I may have been born at night, but not LAST night. :D

    Perhaps you should do some research about how people think about their public healthcare services rather than relying on your own biased nonsense view? For example, the % of people who want to get rid of public healthcare we have in Canada or the UK? Or the % who want to keep it?

    Actually I take that back. You'll struggle to find pollsters even asking that question about getting rid of the public healthcare in Canada or the UK since it is so universally popular it wouldn't even be worth polling it (generally questions that poll at 95%+ are not asked ;))

    I did find a funny example which asked NHS or US system http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2009/aug/14/nhs-health

    Pretty close vote ;)

    Do you have a link for the John Kerry thing Michale? I love stuff like that!

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can point to many instances where Demcorats AND Republicans have been fooled by satire posing as "news".

    To imply by omission that this is solely a Republican problem is utterly ridiculous..

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    For example, the % of people who want to get rid of public healthcare we have in Canada or the UK? Or the % who want to keep it?

    Once again, you are changing the topic..

    The issue is, is there evidence of ridiculously long waits for treatments. Is there evidence of incompetence and fraud.

    Now, if you are denying THESE things, then make your case..

    Don't change the argument, simply because you have no evidence to support the actual argument were discussing...

    Do you have a link for the John Kerry thing Michale? I love stuff like that

    Google JOHN KERRY and THE ONION.

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The issue is, is there evidence of ridiculously long waits for treatments. Is there evidence of incompetence and fraud.

    I can already tell you what the evidence is. It's likely a couple testimonials. Nothing statistical.

    This is the M.O. anyways. Find one example. Air it non-stop until people think it's a statistical problem.

    -David

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can already tell you what the evidence is. It's likely a couple testimonials. Nothing statistical.

    So, you concede that it DOES happen..

    That's all I wanted to hear because that is all I stated initially... :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The issue is, is there evidence of ridiculously long waits for treatments. Is there evidence of incompetence and fraud.

    Now, if you are denying THESE things, then make your case..

    Sure I suggest you actually read the facts on these. The US does not actually measure up very well on these despite the fact that you're paying like 3 times (thousands of dollars) more PER PERSON for your healthcare.

    And when it comes to emergency care waiting times - you better hope if you have an emergency that it's not while in the USA...

    See http://getbetterhealth.com/wait-times-for-medical-care-how-the-us-actually-measures-up/2010.02.02 for example.

    Lol and don't get me started on health insurance companies, denial of claims and fraud. If you think fraud and denying treatment is an issue in the UK you are completely clueless to how our healthcare system works.

    Having lived all my life with access to medical care whenever I want it I can't imagine living my life subject to a potential illness bankrupting my family or simply not going to the doctor because of cost in the US. This is one of the major reasons I would never live in the US.

  14. [14] 
    akadjian wrote:

    So, you concede that it DOES happen.

    You can find a few people to complain about anything.

    Any ... thing ...

    That's why statistical evidence is so important.

    -David

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:

    You can find a few people to complain about anything.

    Any ... thing ...

    That's why statistical evidence is so important

    It's also why statistical evidence is completely ignored as the vast majority of people have no clue how statistical evidence works - they only work in absolute - absolutely right or absolutely wrong.

    If I had a dollar for the number of times someone has said to me 'my brother/aunt/mother/cousin etc has smoked like a chimney since they were 12 and they lived till 99 years old!'. Riiiiight because that's how statistical evidence on smoking works - one person proves that the statistics must be wrong!!!!

  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just a general comment:

    To me, the most hilariously ironic thing about "Obamacare" is that if it works and people like it, they'll be forever calling it "Obamacare" -- reminding everyone who deserves the credit. Not exactly what the Republicans had in mind when they started using the term.

    Heh.

    -CW

  17. [17] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Chris, please join the rest of us in 2009 and replace the Digg share link with a Twitter share link :D

    Seriously, this blog is too good to be so hard to share on the world's biggest social network!

  18. [18] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Osborne -

    Yeah, that "share" little icon menu at the bottom of the articles is woefully, woefully out of date, I fully admit!

    OK, I'm putting it on the list of things to fix on the website... gotta get a new plugin or something...

    -CW

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    To me, the most hilariously ironic thing about "Obamacare" is that if it works and people like it,

    Key phrase being "if it works"...

    The converse is also true.

    If it goes down in flames (which, considering all the taxes it imposes and all the higher costs it is entailing, is the more likely of the two scenarios) it will forever tarnish Obama's legacy.

    Obama is likely to be known as the worst President in modern history.

    Even worse than Jimmy Carter.. Which is actually quite an accomplishment.. :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Any ... thing ...

    That's why statistical evidence is so important.

    Yea, but ya'all have proven beyond ANY doubt that you don't listen to statistical evidence if it doesn't support your ideology..

    Statistical evidence is ONLY important to you if it says what you want it to say..

    Ya'all have proven that over and over and over again..

    Which is why I rarely bother anymore..

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's also why statistical evidence is completely ignored as the vast majority of people have no clue how statistical evidence works - they only work in absolute - absolutely right or absolutely wrong.

    But, in ya'alls case, it's not that you don't have a clue how statistical evidence works.

    Ya'all always ignore statistical evidence that calls your beliefs into question.

    The latest Gun Control discussions and previous Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) discussions have proven this as an absolute fact...

    There is statistical evidence (from your OWN stats, no less) that indicate more gun laws do NOT equal less gun violence.

    Yet, you ignore or spin that statistical evidence.

    There is large amounts of statistical evidence that disputes the theory that humans are the cause of climate change.

    Yet ya'all ignore this vast amount of scientific evidence because it doesn't fit your ideological views...

    So, please.. Don't try to con me into believing that ya'all worship on the altar of science and statistical evidence.

    I may have been born at night, but it wasn't LAST night...

    Ya'all worship on the altar of political ideology, embracing only the science and stats that support your ideology and ignoring, spinning or ridiculing the science and stats that dispute your ideology.

    Ironically enough, sometimes it's even the same stats!!

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Yea, but ya'all have proven beyond ANY doubt that you don't listen to statistical evidence if it doesn't support your ideology.

    I think you've got it backwards.

    Though I would agree that our ideology is science. This would make your argument almost valid. With a little adjusting, I would say that I listen to statistical evidence because I believe in the ideology of science.

    -David

    p.s. On the flip side, conservative ideology these days seems to be based on either religion or Ayn Rand (a pseudo-religion).

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Though I would agree that our ideology is science. This would make your argument almost valid. With a little adjusting,

    IE spin...

    I would say that I listen to statistical evidence because I believe in the ideology of science.

    But only the science that supports your ideology..

    If you believed in science, period, you would acknowledge the science that disproves the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory.

    But you don't, so you don't..

    If you believed in science, period, you would acknowledge the statistics that indicate more guns = less gun violence.

    But you don't, so you don't..

    On the flip side, conservative ideology these days seems to be based on either religion or Ayn Rand (a pseudo-religion).

    I definitely agree about it being the "flip-side"..

    The Right's "religion" and the Left's "religion" are two sides of the same hysterical coin...

    Both sides believe they are right in the manner that their chosen god allows them to see what is right..

    Two sides of the same coin...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Me
    It's also why statistical evidence is completely ignored as the vast majority of people have no clue how statistical evidence works - they only work in absolute - absolutely right or absolutely wrong.

    Michale
    Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling)

    Point proven straight away. You made that one far too easy...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Point proven straight away. You made that one far too easy...

    Not really..

    The point was that ya'all don't accept scientific evidence or statistical evidence that doesn't support your political ideology..

    How does my statement have any bearing on that point??

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    f you believed in science, period, you would acknowledge the science that disproves the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory.

    Statistics ...

    99% of science supports the broad theory of global warming/climate change.

    While there are still some issues of contention, the overall theory is statistically quite solid. BTW, I would question some of the 1% research as well since it seems to be funded by folks who have a vested interest in burning carbon fuels. Like the oil or coal industries.

    If you believe in science, how do you explain the 99% of science which supports the theory of global warming?

    If you believed in science, period, you would acknowledge the statistics that indicate more guns = less gun violence.

    When you show me a study which demonstrates that more guns equal less gun violence, I might believe it. To this date, all you have is anecdotal evidence like "You never see people shot at a gun show."

    This is akin to "I've smoked for 89 years and I'm healthy as a baby"

    On the other hand, a recent Texas A&M study indicates that not only do Stand Your Ground laws not reduce crime, but they may lead to more homicides.

    http://www.npr.org/2013/01/02/167984117/-stand-your-ground-linked-to-increase-in-homicide

    But I'm sure this is the work of devious liberal university Marxists ... or some other such nonsense :)

    -David

  27. [27] 
    michty6 wrote:

    How does my statement have any bearing on that point??

    The statement 'Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling)' is as stupid as the statement 'Cigarettes Cause You To Die Earlier (Yet My Aunt Smoked Her Entire Life And Lived Until She Was 105)'

    It is EXACTLY what I was talking about. You, like most people, do not understand statistics variance or anything - you deal in absolutes.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    99% of science supports the broad theory of global warming/climate change.

    "There you go again"
    -Ronald Reagan

    This is simply NOT a factual statement..

    There are massive amounts of evidence that disprove the theory..

    But you (inadvertently, I am sure :D) prove my point for me..

    You are saying that 99% of the science proves the theory..

    Who says this??

    Well, the scientists who believe the theory to the exclusion of all other science..

    If you believe in science, how do you explain the 99% of science which supports the theory of global warming?

    Easy.

    It's a bullshit statement. A myth perpetrated by the people who buy into the theory, to the exclusion of all other science..

    When you show me a study which demonstrates that more guns equal less gun violence, I might believe it.

    Your own STATS show this...

    Switzerland has the third largest gun ownerships in the world, per capita.

    It's gun violence is proportionally non-existent..

    Same thing with Israel...

    As far as more gun laws equals less gun violence??

    Mexico totally decimates the theory..

    So your OWN stats provides the evidence. But you extenuate, mitigate or downright ignore these stats because they don't support your ideology..

    NINE TIMES more people are killed by knives, clubs, feet or hands than are killed by rifles..

    Yet all the hysterical screaming is about banning "assault" rifles, a Leftist Gun Control construct that doesn't even EXIST in the real world.. There are MANY hunting rifles that pack MUCH more firepower and MUCH more destructive capability than an "assault" rifle...

    But the Hysterical Left screams about the fantasy "assault" rifle because it gives the APPEARANCE of addressing the problem..

    But, as the 1994 ban PROVED beyond any doubt, it does absolutely NO GOOD whatsoever..

    The facts are against the gun control fanatics. The stats are against the gun control fanatics..

    The ONLY reason the gun control fanatics get ANY traction is because of the emotionalism associated with a tragedy..

    Which is why you never hear a peep out of them when there ISN'T a tragedy to bounce off of...

    But I'm sure this is the work of devious liberal university Marxists ... or some other such nonsense :)

    NPR?? 'nuff said...

    Would you accept a paper on Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) from Shell or Exxon?? :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It is EXACTLY what I was talking about. You, like most people, do not understand statistics variance or anything - you deal in absolutes.

    There is sufficient evidence from reputable peer-reviewed sources that indicate there has been a cooling trend for the last 2000 years..

    Even the most die-hard theory believers acknowledge that there has been no "statistically significant" warming in the last couple decades..

    Yea, I know, I know. You can show me "science" that disproves that. And I can show you science that disproves your science..

    And so on and so on and so on ad nasuem..

    And ALL that it will prove is that the science is in dispute.

    Which has been my point all along, in the 5 years that this topic has pop'ed up...

    The science is NOT settled.. Period.

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that the study that the NPR propaganda is based on defines homicide as a person being killed.

    It doesn't differentiate between a person being killed and the shooter being found justified or not..

    Once again, G I G O

    Garbage In Garbage Out

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do I have to even point out that the biggest proponent of the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory has been exposed as a complete and utter fake.. Hell, his own supporters call him a "bullshitter" with "no credibility whatsoever"..

    And you STILL believe in the fairy tale..

    "You still have your dignity. Well, good for you."
    -Michael, STARGATE ATLANTIS

    :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do I have to bother pointing out all the contradictory statements that have been made in the name of the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory???

    Do I have to point out that flat out WRONG statements that have been made in the name of the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory???

    Do I have to point out the FACT that, in the decades that the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) has been the flavor of the month, not ONE single prediction has ever come to pass??

    Do I have to point out the FACT that, in the decades that the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) has been the flavor of the month, not ONE SINGLE MODEL has EVER been accurate??

    All of this is documented and factual and yet, ya'all STILL believe that the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory is based on science.

    It's based on nothing but politics... PERIOD...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Switzerland has the third largest gun ownerships in the world, per capita.

    It's gun violence is proportionally non-existent..

    Nonsense. Complete and utter crap as usual. There are very few (read: almost no) Western Democracies in the world which have a higher FIREARM homicide rate than NON-FIREARM. Here they are:

    - Switzerland
    - USA

    Heck even Mexico has a LOWER firearm homicide rate than non-firearm.

    Comparing the firearm homicide rate with acknowledging it's context with regards to the non-homicide rate is like comparing the value of $1 in America compared to the value of a fish in Japan.

    The science is NOT settled.. Period.

    No the science has settled on the fact that there is a high probability Global Warming/Climate Change is human caused. Note the word PROBABILITY not ABSOLUTELY which you absolutists can't seem to grasp.

    Personally, even if the probability was 0.0001% that we were going to destroy the earth by using these finite resources that we'll have to replace anyway then I'd probably replace these finite resources that we'll have to replace anyway NOW...

    And you STILL believe in the fairy tale..

    And you still believe that Global Warming is ABSOLUTELY a lie/conspiracy/not true. By actually believing this absolute statement it is you who has shown they are more likely to buy into fairy tales (i.e. whatever Fox News says).

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's based on nothing but politics... PERIOD...

    Well, politics and greed..

    As Al Gore's selling out has aptly proven beyond any doubt..

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nonsense. Complete and utter crap as usual. There are very few (read: almost no) Western Democracies in the world which have a higher FIREARM homicide rate than NON-FIREARM. Here they are:

    Once again, you change the subject..

    The discussion has absolutely NOTHING to do with firearm vs non-firearm..

    It has to do with the number of deaths from gun violence vs the number of guns per capita...

    No the science has settled on the fact that there is a high probability Global Warming/Climate Change is human caused. Note the word PROBABILITY not ABSOLUTELY which you absolutists can't seem to grasp.

    Bullshit. The science is NOT settled.. Not by high-probability not by ANY probibility.

    The ONLY people who believe that it is are (coincidentally enough) the same people who buy into the theory w/o question..

    Like ya'all...

    And you still believe that Global Warming is ABSOLUTELY a lie/conspiracy/not true.

    It's not called "Global Warming" any more.. It's caused Climate Change. I know I should update my moniker, but it's too fun.. :D

    You see the point??

    They couldn't sell Global Warming, what with all the cold and snow, so they marketed it in a different way...

    It's what one has to do when the issue is based on politics and greed, NOT on science...

    See #32...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    And you still believe that Global Warming is ABSOLUTELY a lie/conspiracy/not true.

    For the record, I have never taken a position on that either way..

    I simply point out that the science is not settled..

    Ya'all may be right..

    Ya'all may be wrong..

    THAT is my position..

    YA'ALL's position is that you are right. Period..

    That's why ya can never win this debate. :D

    Because you would have to PROVE you're right..

    I simply have to show the flaws in your argument..

    :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    YA'ALL's position is that you are right. Period..

    That's why ya can never win this debate. :D

    Why do you think Al Gore never followed thru with his promise to debate the theory??

    Why do you think NO serious proponent of the Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) theory has EVER debated the validity of the theory??

    Because they know that, in a structured debate, where FACTS are king and bullshit walks, they would lose and lose big...

    They CAN'T debate the theory.

    Because it would expose the fact for all to see.

    The science is FAR from settled.

    And they make BILLIONS of dollars based on the lie...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    michty6 wrote:

    It has to do with the number of deaths from gun violence vs the number of guns per capita...

    Right and there are ONLY TWO Western countries in the world that have a higher number of deaths from gun violence than deaths not from gun violence: USA and Switzerland.

    COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY (LOLOLOL) they are also the 2 Western democracies with the highest rate of guns per capita. Number 1 and 2 in gun ownership in Western Democracies just happen to be the ONLY 2 with firearm>non-firearm deaths. Just coincidence. LOLOLOL.

    It's just so sad that something so simple is made out to be so complex.

    The ONLY people who believe that it is are (coincidentally enough) the same people who buy into the theory w/o question..

    No the only people to believe this is settled are people that are clueless to statistics i.e. you. And I don't mean to be harsh on you because you belong to a large group of people in this regard.

    Anyone who says 'Global Warming is a myth and just created by politicians' is clueless to how statistics, maths and science work (i.e. you and people like you). Just as anyone who says 'Global Warming is definitely 100% true' is also clueless to how statistics, maths and science work.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, as usual, I have dragged us off on a tangent..

    Let's try to get back to the subject at hand...

    The future of ObamaCare..

    Does anyone really believe that the American people will accept the higher costs, the higher taxes, the higher penalties (One guy was arrested for filming police and was charged UNDER OBAMACARE!!) and the lower quality of care???

    ObamaCare is going to be a disaster....

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    For the record, I have never taken a position on that either way.

    Well, you are correct that if you never take a position on anything, you can't be wrong. You also can't be right.

    You simply have no position.

    If you have no argument, however, I'm not sure why you get so worked up here and spend so much time arguing for what seems like a conservative position.

    -David

  41. [41] 
    michty6 wrote:

    If you have no argument, however, I'm not sure why you get so worked up here and spend so much time arguing for what seems like a Republican position.

    FYP. Conservative and Republican are too totally different things. Many Conservatives all over the world accept taking action towards mitigating any potential Global Warming...

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    You simply have no position.

    "Mr President, that's not entirely accurate."
    -DefSec Nimzicki, INDEPENDENCE DAY

    I do have a position.

    My position is that the science is not settled and that more SCIENCE and less politics is needed..

    THAT is my position and it is borne out by the FACTS...

    If you have no argument, however, I'm not sure why you get so worked up here and spend so much time arguing for what seems like a conservative position.

    It's only from your FAR Left position that my position looks "conservative"...

    If you can point me to a conservative/Republican position that states that the HCGW(YTPIC) fanatics MIGHT be right, then you might have an argument. :D

    But you can't, so you don't.. :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, you are correct that if you never take a position on anything, you can't be wrong. You also can't be right.

    Not so.. If it is established that the science is NOT settled, then I am right..

    Which, considering how many bonehead statements and predictions have been made and turned out to be completely and utterly false, I think the evidence IS clear that, when I say the science is not settled, I am dead on ballz accurate... :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If it is established that the science is NOT settled, then I am right.

    Just because they haven't found the Higgs-Boson particle doesn't mean that all of Relativistic Physics isn't valid.

    Ok, bad example ... (since apparently this has been confirmed)

    How about ... what is dark energy? :)

    Similarly, questions you'll hear from climate scientists tend to be about the impacts of rising temperatures or about how much they are rising how quickly.

    None of this, however, contradicts the accepted science that temperatures are rising and the cause of this is greenhouse gases.

    -David

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    None of this, however, contradicts the accepted science that temperatures are rising and the cause of this is greenhouse gases.

    If it wasn't for your last statement, I would have said you were on to something..

    There are MANY theories (peer reviewed) that indicate the sun is the cause of these temperatures and not the greenhouse gases..

    How do you explain the medeival warming period??

    The sun covers that... Literally and figuratively..

    That's my whole point.

    The science is NOT settled..

    There could be MANY causes that we know and some factors that we have yet to recognize or explain.

    It's the epitome of arrogance to think we know enough to start playing around with things...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wouldn't ya'all MUCH rather talk about legalizing marijuana?? :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    There could be MANY causes that we know and some factors that we have yet to recognize or explain.

    Such as?

    If the sun had gotten hotter now, wouldn't we know?

    Now Vikings couldn't have known. But don't you think we would?

    Why is it that you spend so much time trying to find other reasons when no evidence exists to exist suggesting other reasons?

    This reminds me of the people behind "Intelligent Design". Everything points to evolution but they keep saying, well maybe it's something else. Though there's no evidence to actually support the theory of Intelligent Design.

    -David

    Wouldn't ya'all MUCH rather talk about legalizing marijuana?? :D

    That's the Libertarians ;)

  48. [48] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Why is it that you spend so much time trying to find other reasons when no evidence exists to exist suggesting other reasons?

    Crap. "when no evidence exists to suggest other reasons?"

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Such as?

    What part of and some factors that we have yet to recognize or explain. was unclear??

    Or is it your position that we know all that is knowable about climate??

    We can't even accurately predict weather from one day to the next and YOU want me to believe that ALL the models that foretell doom and destruction are accurate, even though it's FACT that *NONE* of them have been accurate to date..

    Is THAT what you are really trying to sell here???

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Crap. "when no evidence exists to suggest other reasons?"

    You mean, besides trying to explain the medeival warming period..

    besides trying to explain why, in the last several decades, CO2 is up, but temps are down...

    Besides all that, you mean...

    Right???

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    akadjian wrote:

    We can't even accurately predict weather from one day to the next and YOU want me to believe that ALL the models that foretell doom and destruction are accurate, even though it's FACT that *NONE* of them have been accurate to date.

    No need to go ragey and change the subject. Day to day weather is a completely different issue than the climate warming over time.

    besides trying to explain why, in the last several decades, CO2 is up, but temps are down.

    Temperatures are down. Really? Have you had your head in the sand?

    You mean, besides trying to explain the medeival warming period.

    Why do you keep going back to something in the past?

    Is there any evidence that the sun has gotten hotter now? Or any evidence supporting another theory why the planet is warming?

    All the evidence points to greenhouse gas emissions. You can stick your head in the sand if you want my friend, but this is what the science points to.

    -David

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    No need to go ragey and change the subject. Day to day weather is a completely different issue than the climate warming over time.

    Yea, it's a LOT harder to be accurate over time.

    As evidenced by the FACT that not ONE single HCGW(YTPIC) model has EVER been accurate.

    As evidenced by the FACT that not ONE single HCGW(YTPIC) prediction has EVER come to pass.

    With a COMPLETE *zero* success rate, why do you STILL believe the hype??

    Because your scientists say so..

    What about all the other scientists that say different??

    Their science doesn't count??

    Temperatures are down. Really? Have you had your head in the sand?

    The Met Office has admitted that global warming has stalled.

    Officials say that by 2017, temperatures will not have risen significantly for nearly 20 years.

    They concede that previous forecasts were inaccurate – and have come under fire for attempting to ‘bury bad news’ by publishing the revised data on Christmas Eve.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2259012/Global-warming-Met-Office-releases-revised-global-temperature-predictions-showing-planet-NOT-rapidly-heating-up.html

    Why do you keep going back to something in the past?

    Because the past indicates the flaws of the theory in the future..

    Did they have massive industrialization in Medeival times???

    No..

    So that means that something else had an effect on global temps..

    Isn't it reasonable to postulate that, whatever raised temps back then might also be playing a part in the here and now??

    Is there any evidence that the sun has gotten hotter now? Or any evidence supporting another theory why the planet is warming?

    Absolutely there is..

    But you won't accept it because it doesn't fit your political ideology.

    Which brings us back to the original point.

    If it doesn't fit your ideology, you ignore it. Period..

    You are only interested in science when it supports your view..

    It's called (among other things) conclusion-based evidence.

    What you SHOULD strive for (as I do) is evidence-based conclusions..

    All the evidence points to greenhouse gas emissions.

    All the evidence that you will acknowledge. There are TONS and TONS of peer-reviewed studies that point to other causes...

    But you don't want to acknowledge that evidence because it doesn't fit with your pre-conceived conclusions..

    but this is what the science points to.

    No. It's what YOUR science points to.. It's not science. It's religion. It's faith.

    YOUR priests (scientists) are right and all the other priests (scientists) are blasphemous heretics...

    There is PLENTY of other science that you ignore, mitigate, extenuate and spin that indicates other possible conclusions..

    I look at ALL the science and it tells me we don't know enough yet to start making drastic changes even if we HAD the technology to do so..

    That's the difference in our particular viewpoints.

    You look at one sliver of the science (the sliver that supports your pre-conceived conclusion) and say, "I am right and you are wrong."

    I look at the totality of ALL the science and say, "You might be right. But you might be wrong."

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Temperatures are down. Really? Have you had your head in the sand?

    Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Contrary to appearances, I really didn't want to start and/or rehash another Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) debate/discussion..

    I only brought it up, initially, to indicate how the Left (in general) claim to be all about facts and science and statistical evidence, but when the facts are examined, the Left is as dogmatic and ideologically bent as they accuse the Right of being..

    The Left only accepts the facts, the science and the statistics that support that ideology..

    The HCGW(YTPIC) theory is but one example. Gun Control is another... Nature vs Nurture is another.. And so on and so on and so on..

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Because the past indicates the flaws of the theory in the future.

    This is like saying I don't believe in relativistic physics because I don't know what dark energy is.

    Two separate issues.

    Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it

    The DailyMail is a conservative tabloid.

    How an actual newspaper reported the story ...

    The UK Met Office has revised one of its forecasts for how much the world may warm in the next few years. It says that the average temperature is likely to rise by 0.43 C by 2017 - as opposed to an earlier forecast that suggested a warming of 0.54C.

    The explanation is that a new kind of computer model using different parameters has been used. The Met Office stresses that the work is experimental and that it still stands by its longer-term projections. These forecast significant warming over the course of this century.

    Where were all of those facts in the DailyMail?

    This says exactly what I said earlier that many questions still remain about the rate of change. But this doesn't dispute the theory that the world is warming. And I didn't see any data about the sun getting hotter - you know we can measure that now, right?

    -David

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    How an actual newspaper reported the story ...

    And your link???? :D

    This says exactly what I said earlier that many questions still remain about the rate of change. But this doesn't dispute the theory that the world is warming.

    No one is disputing the world is warming..

    NOW it's in a cooling trend. Has been for decades.. Before that, it was in a warming phase.. And before THAT it was cooling...

    No one is denying that the climate is changing.

    Where the conflict comes in is what is the cause of it..

    Thousands of peer-reviewed papers point to the sun and it's coronal ejections, it's activity that coincides with changes in the planet's climate.

    But ya'all ignore (or equivocate or spin) THOSE peer-reviewed papers because they don't fit the Leftist narrative...

    Like I said, my point isn't this specific issue. It's ALL the issues that the Left ignores ALL the science in favor of a narrow slice of the science that supports their agenda..

    It's evident in this issue and it's evident in many other issues as well...

    The Right isn't much better in this regard either..

    Like I said. You MIGHT be right.. But what you cannot admit (because it would throw the agenda into chaos) is that you MIGHT be wrong..

    It's not science..

    It's faith... Pure and simple faith..

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    akadjian wrote:

    No one is disputing the world is warming.. NOW it's in a cooling trend.

    If no one is disputing the world is warming, how can it be in a cooling trend?

    It isn't cooling. That's just it.

    And your link???? :D

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20947224

    BTW, my guess is that you're against global warming because somehow you fear this is going to harm business or affect jobs.

    What I think is more likely the case is that business will change - that is, the opportunities may move away from traditional oil/gas to alternative energies (which of course is why the more traditional companies are against it). I would argue though that we'd want to lead in this direction rather than fall behind and let other countries have the lead.

    Another great argument for reducing our consumption and moving towards more alternative energies is that it would make us less reliable on foreign producers.

    To me ... the important thing is to start making the shift. There's any number of good reasons for doing it. If we use less, it should also help lower the cost of gas

    -David

    BTW, I don't think you're against any of this, you just seem to have an issue with certain people who you see as liberal profiteers - I don't think this is true but I would hate to have to make the case that Al Core is 'likable' :)

  58. [58] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You MIGHT be right.. But what you cannot admit (because it would throw the agenda into chaos) is that you MIGHT be wrong.

    Anyone can always be wrong. And I'd have no trouble admitting it if there were some evidence to indicate I was. I just haven't seen any credible evidence to indicate that global temperatures are not rising. And I haven't seen another credible theory to explain why they might be rising.

    -David

  59. [59] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Also, just as a quick fun update, Michale ... that Nest thermostat we installed is amazing.

    Just before the new year, we received a check from our energy company for almost $400. This was the savings for a half a year from when I installed in June (we're on even billing so they send us money back if we're under or ask us for more if we go over).

    Given, most of the savings come from:
    1. We're not there during the day, so we can program the thermostat to lower or higher temps depending on time of year to save on AC/heat. If you already have a programmable thermostat, you might not see such huge changes.
    2. The auto away feature. This recognizes when we're gone and adjusts appropriately. It's surprisingly accurate after a year of "learning"

    Anyways ... just thought it was cool as this I think is the first time we've ever gotten money back from the utility company. And yes ... I realize I sound like one of those awful testimonials :)

    -David

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    And I'd have no trouble admitting it if there were some evidence to indicate I was.

    And therein lies the problem.

    There is PLENTY of evidence, TONS of evidence from REAL scientists that show the flaws in the HCGW(YTPIC) theory..

    The problem is, YOUR definition of science is anything that confirms your ideology..

    If it disputes your ideology, then it's not really science..

    It's like the old USSR's definition of insanity. Anyone who wants to leave the Soviet Union MUST be crazy...

    Until you can accept that there IS legitimate science out there that will dispute your ideology, all you have is faith..

    Faith that YOUR priests are right and the OTHER priests are heretics.

    Anyways ... just thought it was cool as this I think is the first time we've ever gotten money back from the utility company. And yes ... I realize I sound like one of those awful testimonials

    I have been really wanting to get one of those. :D

    Maybe when I tell my lovely wife the savings you had, she might let me spring for the $$$$

    By the by, I told her this morning of our discussions regarding gas prices and regulations..

    She got a kick out of your, 'Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy' comment. :D

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    BTW, my guess is that you're against global warming because somehow you fear this is going to harm business or affect jobs.

    No.. I am against Global Warming because, at it's base, it's nothing but hysterical fear-mongering..

    I am against Global Warming because the biggest hysterics and the biggest fear mongers are making billions off of it..

    I notice you don't touch the Al Gore issue...

    I always knew you were a smart guy... :D

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    BTW, I don't think you're against any of this, you just seem to have an issue with certain people who you see as liberal profiteers - I don't think this is true but I would hate to have to make the case that Al Core is 'likable' :)

    WOW.. I actually made comment #61 w/o finishing reading this.. :D

    You have likely hit the nail on the head.. :D

    Yer so right, it's scary!!! :D

    Don't get me wrong. There IS legitimate science to dispute the HCGW(YTPIC) theory...

    But it doesn't help ya'alls cause much that people like Al Gore are the poster children for the movement..

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    With Al Gore, I don't think the issue even approaches "likability"...

    The issue with Gore is integrity and credibility...

    As in Gore has absolutely NONE of either...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    akadjian wrote:

    She got a kick out of your, 'Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy' comment. :D

    Heheh. I ask myself this question at the start of every "discussion" ;)

    -David

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Heheh. I ask myself this question at the start of every "discussion" ;)

    Like I said, I always knew you were a smart guy.. :D

    Michale

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