A Healthy Debate

Another week of interchangeable hosts as Law Talk co-host John Yoo sits in for Rob Long and Ricochet Editor-In-Chief Jon Gabriel subs for the ailing Peter Robinson. Nonetheless, it’s full show with Avik Roy on the Republican’s take on affordable health care and National Review’s Andrew McCarthy on FISA courts, wiretapping, and those pesky Russians. Also, what makes a truly great Philly cheese steak? Our wiz on topic, Professor Yoo, spreads it on thick.

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Music from this week’s podcast:  I Wan’na Be Like You (2016) (From The Jungle Book) by Christopher Walken

The ALL NEW opening sequence for the Ricochet Podcast was composed and produced by James Lileks.

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There are 23 comments.

  1. Guruforhire Member

    The rule of thumb is that whenever social is used as the first part of a 2 part term, the meaning of the whole is the exact opposite of the 2nd part.

    • #1
    • March 10, 2017, at 4:08 PM PST
    • Like
  2. Guruforhire Member

    John!

    The Grand Mac is everything you want it to be and more.

    A big mac (now grand!) with a real coke is my having a bad day lunch of choice.

    • #2
    • March 10, 2017, at 4:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Quake Voter Inactive

    Thanks gentlemen for a superb entertaining show.

    Good Lileks is great, but when James is hitting on all cylinders, what a treat. Scoring his own points and setting up the other four for good scoring opportunities. Reminded me of, dare I say, Tiny Archibald.

    Laughs, conservative common sense, fair and sharp critiques and some of that old-time flagship bonhomie.

    Thanks again.

    One wonky question: was the vote on Obamacare replacement really scheduled due to base pressure? That would have been Hillary indictment or DACA executive action, I’d say. Without this Obamacare repeal, and the 10-year-plus savings that will be forecast from the Medicare per capita block grant, wouldn’t any cut in corporate, small business and personal income tax rates be subject to a Byrd sunset?

    There is usually a method to Ryan’s madness.

    • #3
    • March 10, 2017, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Merrijane Member

    I agree, that Great Courses segue was a thing of beauty. Good job, James!

    • #4
    • March 10, 2017, at 5:31 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Oh yeah, Robinson says he’s sick, but we know it’s the whole cheese thing that kept him away.

    • #5
    • March 10, 2017, at 6:08 PM PST
    • Like
  6. SParker Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Good Lileks is great, but when James is hitting on all cylinders, what a treat. Scoring his own points and setting up the other four for good scoring opportunities. Reminded me of, dare I say, Tiny Archibald.

    +1. But Lileks with a stuck valve, fouled plugs, and a blown head gasket would be pretty freaking amazing. too, I’m sure. The “Yoo’s on first” play was masterful: Abbott and Costello allusion (obvious, expected); Cue to John Yoo (expected, no wait, unexpected, GOTDANG!); the knowledge that “youse” is the 2nd person pronoun in Philadelphia–amongst Poles and Lithuanians of a certain vintage, anyway (frosting). There’s probably more layers to the onion than the dimness of my thinker and the shallowness of my hermeneutics can divine. It’s like getting struck by lightning while being run over by a bus. But way more fun than that sounds.

    • #6
    • March 10, 2017, at 6:41 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Demaratus Coolidge

    After hearing the portion with Avik Roy, I had to pause the podcast and come here to comment: Mr. Roy displayed some of the most craven and hollow shilling I’ve ever heard in his “defense” of the Trumpcare bill. The bill is not conservative, not free market, and will not do anything to help health outcomes in America. Avik deployed strawman arguments and rhetorical fallacies one after another, making no good points in defense of the bill other than slowing or defeating it will slow the rest of the legislative agenda (some praise!). Either Avik is not very bright, or he’s a shill. I hope he comes in here to comment further, as I’d be happy to discuss his hollow arguments further.

    The worst argument of all of those he marshaled, though, was saying that tax subsidies are free market and not Obamacare-lite. They are not free market, and neither are school vouchers. Vouchers of any kind are merely a way of trying to channel socialist impulses through a more efficient channel. The free market would be letting people keep their money and spend it as they will, which would include charities like educating the poor and providing for the sick. When the money flows through Washington for an unconstitutional Federal policy like healthcare or education, it is socialist/fascist tyranny by another name. It is not freedom, and it is not conservative.

    This bill is Obamacare-lite; and, Mr. Roy, you are a Democrat-lite.

    • #7
    • March 10, 2017, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Aaron Miller Member

    “That’s the free market!”

    No, a tax credit takes money out of the free market that might have been spent in other sectors and redirects it to the sector politicians prefer. It taxes money that citizens with healthcare want to spend on food, travel, their children’s college tuition, or investments and it forces that money into some stranger’s health subsidy.

    Tax credits might be preferable to Democrats’ favored alternatives, but they are still symptoms of a nanny state.

    • #8
    • March 10, 2017, at 7:21 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. James Lileks Contributor

    Thanks, everyone! It was lots of fun, but wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without the different temperaments of Jon and John.

    • #9
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. RufusRJones Member

    Stephen Hayes on Special Report said “They need to tell the story.” Trump needs to give a 10 minute outline of the healthcare mess since WW2 and then point out the lies used to pass the ACA with a parliamentary trick.

    Then, I wish he would give two options: full private which would take a ton of educating and a ton of political courage or an Americanized Swiss system which would be fair, progressively funded, and a hell of a lot easier.

    • #10
    • March 11, 2017, at 10:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Merrijane Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    … Trump needs to give a 10 minute outline of the healthcare mess since WW2 and then point out the lies used to pass the ACA with a parliamentary trick. …

    I don’t have a lot of confidence he could do this even if he wanted to. He constantly elides over details when he speaks because he assumes everyone knows the same particulars that he does. That’s why we get so many guessing games about what set him off to say one particular thing or another and what he really means by it.

    • #11
    • March 11, 2017, at 11:00 AM PST
    • Like
  12. RufusRJones Member

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    … Trump needs to give a 10 minute outline of the healthcare mess since WW2 and then point out the lies used to pass the ACA with a parliamentary trick. …

    I don’t have a lot of confidence he could do this even if he wanted to. He constantly elides over details when he speaks because he assumes everyone knows the same particulars that he does. That’s why we get so many guessing games about what set him off to say one particular thing or another and what he really means by it.

    President Bannon would have to do quite a bit of coaching and motivate him on the upsides. Rhetoric wasn’t a big deal at Penn, apparently.

    • #12
    • March 11, 2017, at 11:13 AM PST
    • Like
  13. HeavyWater Coolidge

    Demaratus (View Comment):
    After hearing the portion with Avik Roy, I had to pause the podcast and come here to comment: Mr. Roy displayed some of the most craven and hollow shilling I’ve ever heard in his “defense” of the Trumpcare bill. The bill is not conservative, not free market, and will not do anything to help health outcomes in America.

    . . . . .

    This bill is Obamacare-lite; and, Mr. Roy, you are a Democrat-lite.

    Based on what you are saying over 500 of the 535 members of Congress are either Democrats or Democrat-lite.

    How many Republican members of Congress have announced that they support ending Medicare? Remember, Medicare pays for peoples’ health care costs. This is anti-free market.

    So, if you are going to criticize Avik Roy for supporting tax credits to assist people in paying for health insurance, you must also criticize Trump’s HHS Secretary and 12 members of the House Freedom Caucus because they supported a bill which would have provided tax credits to people who do not receive employer provided health care.

    Many conservatives support school vouchers and/or tuition tax credits as a means of introducing competition against the Teachers’ Unions. The Left hates the idea. I would love to live in Rand Paul’s libertarian Utopia. But while we wait for the swearing in of President Rand Paul, I am inclined to support Paul Ryan’s legislation if the alternative is doing nothing.

    • #13
    • March 11, 2017, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. HeavyWater Coolidge

    The alternative to Paul Ryan’s “American Health Care Act” isn’t the total repeal of Obamacare. If it were, I would support the total repeal of Obamacare.

    Has any member of Congress introduced legislation that would simply repeal Obamacare? If so, how many co-sponsors does this legislation have? Are there 50 members of the US Senate willing to use the Nuclear Option to repeal Obamacare?

    If not, then the alternative to Paul Ryan’s legislation is either a few tweaks here or a few tweaks there or doing nothing at all. Or we can wait until 8 Democrats join the 52 Republicans in the Senate to provide 60 votes to end a filibuster against repealing Obamacare.

    It seems that Paul Ryan is simply dealing with reality as it is, not as how he would wish it to be.

    • #14
    • March 11, 2017, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Demaratus Coolidge

    Spiral (View Comment):
    The alternative to Paul Ryan’s “American Health Care Act” isn’t the total repeal of Obamacare. If it were, I would support the total repeal of Obamacare.

    Has any member of Congress introduced legislation that would simply repeal Obamacare? If so, how many co-sponsors does this legislation have? Are there 50 members of the US Senate willing to use the Nuclear Option to repeal Obamacare?

    If not, then the alternative to Paul Ryan’s legislation is either a few tweaks here or a few tweaks there or doing nothing at all. Or we can wait until 8 Democrats join the 52 Republicans in the Senate to provide 60 votes to end a filibuster against repealing Obamacare.

    It seems that Paul Ryan is simply dealing with reality as it is, not as how he would wish it to be.

    Putting their fingerprints on Obamacare now by changing it in now ways which will stop if from imploding is merely to cede the moral high ground and weaken our ability to pass real reform when things to finally implode. It also increases the chances we end up with single payer healthcare, as the Democrats, with the help of the Media, will just say that the GOP has no good ideas because they tried and they failed, whereas we Democrats have always wanted single payer and were forced into this Obamacare compromise.

    Better to pass nothing now than this crap sandwich.

    • #15
    • March 11, 2017, at 10:48 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. RufusRJones Member

    One thing I’ve noticed is, when you look on twitter and in the media, effectively all Democrats act like mathematical actuarial laws don’t exist or they lie about it. This is huge problem.

    • #16
    • March 12, 2017, at 1:59 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Quake Voter Inactive

    Demaratus (View Comment):
    Either Avik is not very bright, or he’s a shill. I hope he comes in here to comment further, as I’d be happy to discuss his hollow arguments further.

    Why be so needlessly insulting? Roy is one of the more thoughtful and politically savvy conservative healthcare analysts in the country. I doubt he shilled his way through MIT and Yale Med.

    It’s hard to see the common ground that you and Roy could fight on. He’s engaged in trying to win a practical political fight to reform Obamacare into a fiscally sane and somewhat federalist insurance plan. You are advocating a return to late 19th century healthcare and educational policies.

    Almost by definition, Roy’s ideas will be more complicated and compromised than yours.

    He’s aiming to make them work outside his own head.

    A GOP advocating for elimination of all Medicaid, Medicare, much of the VA, the NIH, all tax credits for private insurance and the deductibility of employer-provided health insurance would struggle to win 25 Senate and 150 House seats. Add in your preference for eliminating government funding (state as well as federal apparently) for education from K-20 and we’d have leftist control of 90 Senate and 400 House seats, the entire judiciary and 45 state houses.

    The status quo ante Obama resulted in the most left-wing president in US history, 60 Dem Senators and 255 Dem Representatives. Our next two nominees were the architect of Obamacare in MA and an admirer of the NHS.

    Roy is dealing with these realities. You are not. Calling him “hollow” is somewhat silly.

    • #17
    • March 12, 2017, at 5:11 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. RufusRJones Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Roy is dealing with these realities.

    I completely agree. The healthcare system is massively distorted both politically and economically and I think he’s being far more realistic about it than anyone else. Plus we have those staggering statistics that 40% of all Americans aren’t liquid for $2,000 in under 30 days or something like that. Chronic 1.9% GDP has people scared for good reason.

    The GOP has to deal with this head-on. 

    • #18
    • March 12, 2017, at 5:22 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Jager Member

    Spiral (View Comment):
    If not, then the alternative to Paul Ryan’s legislation is either a few tweaks here or a few tweaks there or doing nothing at all. Or we can wait until 8 Democrats join the 52 Republicans in the Senate to provide 60 votes to end a filibuster against repealing Obamacare.

    I think this might be too simplistic. The policy choices range from do nothing to full repeal. Ryan’s legislation is within that range. It does not mean that it is the only plan that is between those two extremes that could pass.

    • #19
    • March 12, 2017, at 10:39 AM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Chris Bogdan Inactive

    Jon Gabriel was pretty cagey about revealing that Philly Cheese Steak location but I think I might know where it is…

    • #20
    • March 14, 2017, at 12:00 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Nick Baldock Member

    What kind of school includes allying in the course of the day? James, do you not have any other options for your daughter??

    • #21
    • March 18, 2017, at 2:36 PM PST
    • Like
  22. rod Member
    rod

    Andy McCarthy is a pleasure to listen too: always lucid.

    • #22
    • March 19, 2017, at 12:50 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Mrs. Ink Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Stephen Hayes on Special Report said “They need to tell the story.” Trump needs to give a 10 minute outline of the healthcare mess since WW2 and then point out the lies used to pass the ACA with a parliamentary trick.

    Then, I wish he would give two options: full private which would take a ton of educating and a ton of political courage or an Americanized Swiss system which would be fair, progressively funded, and a hell of a lot easier.

    I wish I knew more about the Swiss system. To my limited knowledge, doesn’t it have a mandate?

    Full private is a pipe dream-every one thinks that insurance means “free”, that is “some one else is paying.”

    • #23
    • March 31, 2017, at 8:11 AM PST
    • Like