October 10, 2007
Guess The Author
A typical experience with the individual health care market:
I have commented before on the problems with central planning in health care. I certainly am not convinced that a government-run system is the answer, but I do agree with Krugman that there are serious problems with our health insurance system, particularly in the market for individually-purchased (non-group) coverage.
After my husband quit his job earlier this year (to become a full-time stay-at-home dad), we had a choice. We could either buy health insurance from his former employer through a program called COBRA at a cost of more than $1,000 per month(!) or we could go it alone in Maryland’s individual market. Given our financial circumstances, that “choice” wasn’t much of a choice at all. We had to go on our own.
We discovered that the most generous plans in Maryland’s individual market cost $700 per month yet provide no more than $1,500 per year of prescription drug coverage–a drop in the bucket if someone in our family were to be diagnosed with a serious illness.
With health insurance choices like that, no wonder so many people opt to go uninsured.
The mystery writer? Michelle Malkin. As I've said before, if a neoconservative is a liberal who got mugged, and progressive is a Republican who got sick. Well, a Republican who got sick, but whose livelihood isn't dependent on generating an unending stream of outrage for a hardcore conservative audience. But can you really believe that the Michelle Malkin who wrote those paragraphs is the same one inveighing against subsidized health care for children of low-income, self-employed parents?
October 10, 2007 | Permalink
What's even odder is that her husband, Jesse Malkin, is something of an expert on health economics.
Posted by: Isaac | Oct 10, 2007 4:32:12 PM
So, like, what does a Malkin want, anyway? I'd say the French system would solve all her problems .... Maybe she would just move there and try it out?? Please?
Posted by: David in NY | Oct 10, 2007 4:40:15 PM
can you really believe that the Michelle Malkin who wrote those paragraphs is the same one inveighing against subsidized health care for children of low-income, self-employed parents?
This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions about simple minds.
Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Oct 10, 2007 4:48:15 PM
It's interesting to note that, in 2004, Malkin concluded:
"Given our financial circumstances, that 'choice' wasn’t much of a choice at all."
I have no way of knowing for sure (and no, I'm not advocating an investigation into the Malkin finances), but I strongly suspect that the Malkin family's "financial circumstances" in 2004 were (and have remained) considerably better than that of the Frosts. She was already, after all, an author and nationally syndicated columnist by then (and her dreadful book on internment was only a month away from being published).
Yet when it came to health care, she complained of not really having a "choice" back then.
And what does she say of the Frosts today? What's the "bottom line" for Malkin?
The bottom line remains:
This family made choices. Choices have consequences.
Interestingly, Malkin ended up with a rather unsatisfactory "very high-deductible plan", a plan for which the Frosts probably couldn't have qualified anyway (given their pre-existing conditions), and even if they did, one which surely would have put them in the poor house if any of them met with an serious illness or accident.
Posted by: Ken | Oct 10, 2007 4:49:12 PM
More from Malkin's archives, this time on privacy:
Why publish maps and specific street names and photographs of the private (not anymore) homes where the Vice President and Defense Secretary and their families spend their vacations?
Because the "people" (you know: Code Pink, Fred Phelps, jihadis) have a "right to know," right?
I wonder how Pinch Sulzberger would react to citizen photographers trampling his driveway, snapping pics of his vacation home, and splashing them all over their blogs?
Posted by: neil | Oct 10, 2007 5:01:07 PM
I strongly suspect that the Malkin family's "financial circumstances" in 2004 were (and have remained) considerably better than that of the Frosts
While wingnut welfare is the gift that keeps giving, freelance wingnuttery -- columnist work, subbing work on Faux News, Regnery advances and royalty checks, Bathrobe Media ad income -- still generally doesn't come with health bennies.
This isn't even about income. It's about ressentiment. If the Frosts were earning $30,000 a year, the Malkinites would want them to be living in a double-wide trailer with a beater car, and then accuse them of being sponging lazy poor, with no ambition or entrepreneurial spirit. The Frosts are not the GOP Elect, and thus their virtues are meaningless.
Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Oct 10, 2007 5:01:24 PM
I think the fascinating thing about the post is that Malkin has hinged her complaint about the Frost - after backpedaling significantly on their income and personal wealth claims - on the claim that they could get insurance more cheaply that the "$1200" that Bonnie Frost claimed in the first article... it's odd then, that Malkin herself should know that the pricing is probably right. And it underscores, I think, that a lot of people are not connecting the dots in healthcare - Malkin sees her own problems with insurance as somehow anomalous, and doesn't see the Frosts as dealing with the same issue, and probably - which is key - under circumstances much more dire than her own. I hope, Ezra that you've contacted her about debating - and I hope, as a follow up, or in your invite, you mention this post. I suspect she herself doesn't realize that this is out there.
Posted by: weboy | Oct 10, 2007 5:25:18 PM
Ezra, you're on fire today
Posted by: gregh | Oct 10, 2007 5:27:18 PM
I hope, Ezra that you've contacted her about debating - and I hope, as a follow up, or in your invite, you mention this post. I suspect she herself doesn't realize that this is out there.
If the idea is to debate health care rather than make personal attacks, Ezra probably shouldn't mention it. Of course, there's almost no way he would do so before her, but still.
Posted by: Cyrus | Oct 10, 2007 5:36:54 PM
If you have any hint of a pre-existing condition, you can't get health insurance at any price.
Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 | Oct 10, 2007 5:45:34 PM
A neoconservative isn't a liberal who has been mugged; a neoconservative is someone who saw a story on the local news about someone being mugged and became very, very afraid.
Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Oct 10, 2007 5:53:52 PM
SCMT, that is a truly, truly awesome description.
Posted by: Tyro | Oct 10, 2007 5:58:32 PM
Ezra, you're right on. Keep hitting this, over and over. It's ironic indeed that someone like Malkin could possibly argue for internment of American citizens as well as better "choices" in a healthcare system. Progressive she is not. Though irony usually has very little to do with ideological fruitcakes.
Posted by: Barr | Oct 10, 2007 6:02:59 PM
Never underestimate the power of intellectual compartmentization. And dishonest, mean-spirited, hackery.
Posted by: DrexelDem | Oct 10, 2007 6:15:00 PM
Ezra, according to Michael Fumento, you've called out the wrong Malkin:
"Never mind that anybody familiar with Jesse Malkin knows that his main interests are health issues and economics, which are just about the only two issues Michelle doesn't write about. "
Posted by: ParBear | Oct 10, 2007 6:37:04 PM
But can you really believe that the Michelle Malkin who wrote those paragraphs is the same one inveighing against subsidized health care for children of low-income, self-employed parents?
Of course I can. It's called cognitive dissonance.
Posted by: Jestak | Oct 10, 2007 6:59:09 PM
No, it is not cognitive dissonance, but something deeper and simpler.
"Conservatism" in this country is not an ideology at all. It is about nothing but sheer naked greed. Consequently, these fundamentally dishonest people will use any argument which serves their interest at the moment, without a concern in the world with its consistency with their previous or future utterances.
Thus, five Supreme Court justices threw everything they ever claimed to believe into the trash to make Bush President. Thus, Conservatives use any shift in the economy, positive or negative, to argue for tax cuts. Thus, they will turn their backs on any record of past failure to vote for whoever promises them the lowest taxes. Thus, Bush instantly abandoned his claimed belief in small government and fiscal responsibility when he had a chance to help his friends feed at the public trough.
They care nothing for truth, only for wealth. They will say anything to get it.
Posted by: Carl from L.A, | Oct 10, 2007 8:09:54 PM
One can be against Single Payer or other forms of UHC and still not be happy with what exists today. I don't see anything in what she writes that contradicts a conservative's view. The individual market is screwed because there's not a ton of individual's in it, considering most people get their health insurance through an employee.
This has been a constant bicker of mine. I don’t know her deep feelings on healthcare, so I have no idea where she stands on reform. But I see this often enough when I point out flaws in Single Payer: people automatically assume I’m for the status quo, which isn’t the case
Posted by: DM | Oct 10, 2007 8:11:00 PM
The first comment on this Sadly,No post seems to have explained all of this quite well.
Posted by: Tyro | Oct 10, 2007 8:26:49 PM
That is a truly incredible story. What's the Matter with Kansas in spades combined with a convenient onset of amnesia. I wonder if her current insurance provider will cover treatment for that?
Posted by: robert paehlke | Oct 10, 2007 8:30:25 PM
Amazing. In the older, more decent, traditional Republican Party circles, hateful harpies like Malkin and Coulter would never be invited or allowed to represent the party in public. DECENT society wouldn't be caught dead in public with her, simply because she's an incredibly TACKY human being.
Malkin and Coulter remind me of the high school cafeteria girls: only happy when they're trashing someone else, perpetually stuck in the immaturity of one-liner put downs as "superiority."
Pretty much the same reason Nancy Reagan couldn't stand being around Barbara Bush.
THIS is what the Republican Party has become.
Sad, sad, sad.
Posted by: Mary | Oct 10, 2007 8:33:28 PM
The really funny thing about these righty-blog berserker episodes is that one never sees them coming. Who would have predicted, beforehand, that an item on the back page of the mostly pro-war New Republic, or a gimmicky Dem response to the weekly presidential radio address, would be the occasion of a right-wing flash mob? It reminds me of descriptions I've read (not a gamer myself) of World of Warcraft "raids", such is the disparity between the provocation and the vehemence of the response.
Posted by: kth | Oct 10, 2007 8:48:30 PM
I've said it before to many of my contemporaries. Many of these right-wing "hacks" do more than likely do not believe half the things that they say. It's a very simple equation: Look at what these people do and not what they say. For all of O'reilly's lamentation(s) over the "far left's" ways of living, we all know at least some of the way in which he lives his personal life. Malkin in this iteration becomes much more discriminating about the private market "offerings" when her family's personal money is involved, and seemingly can then see past her ideologies.And please, let's not even start on "El Rushbo". See, ultimately, these people are just appealing to a market. They know what keeps the ears and the eyes glued, they specialize in red-meat to red-meat eaters. I don't blame them, I blame the regressive tards who have yet to see that they are being played for suckers. Selah.
Posted by: onlinesavant | Oct 10, 2007 9:07:12 PM
I live in British Columbia, one of the two Canadian provinces that charges its citizens directly for UHC, rather than taking it out of general tax revenue. The premiums are $54 per month for a single person, $96 per month for a couple, or $108 per month for a family of three or more. If your income is below a certain amount, you get financial assistance -- up to 100% if necessary. I don't have to pay the full amount because my employer covers half. Anyone is free to buy additional insurance for the services not covered by the provincial plan. So I also have what's called Extended Health Care, again subsidized by my employer.
Posted by: mijnheer | Oct 10, 2007 9:13:48 PM
THIS is what the Republican Party has become.
Sad, sad, sad.
Posted by: Mary
When was it better? In the 1980s, when the Reagan administration was selling weapons to both Iran and Iraq at various times? Or maybe earlier, during the Nixon administration? Yeah, those aren't exactly analagous to the two minutes' hate we're seeing today, but still, if there was every anything admirable in the leadership of the Republican Party, I think it was before I was born.
Posted by: Cyrus | Oct 10, 2007 9:19:36 PM
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