If It Saves One Life

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  I doubt any of the rest of you are interested in this phenomenon but I’ve found it to be very true in my own experience.  Once tragedy strikes, especially one we believe could have been prevented, we tend to change our minds about numerous things.  That old saying “if it saves one life it’s worth it”, which the guy quoted below actually says at the end of his testimony, and most of us know is not a very legitimate tool to use to bring about change, suddenly has meaning.

When I think back to the Health Care debate and why it was so important to me, Daniel’s story about his sister’s death, matched my own perception of that debate at the time because of my niece’s death.  During the years I fought for health care reform I met hundreds of people whose stories were similar to my own.  And honestly, they weren’t all hot-headed progressives (and I’m not either although I do get hot-headed about health care inefficiencies).  Most of them were simply hard working Americans who had a terrible story to tell about a health care system that had failed.

I think this is one of the reasons so many of the provisions in the ACA are popular while the bill itself isn’t.  Some of us can imagine what it would be like to not have these new regulations or know someone who is benefiting from them now.  And so even though the bill is a mess in so many ways, they’re grateful for it in other ways.  It’s interesting to me that the polling is so skewed.

Anyway, my point really is just that while I really am not impressed with the bill that became the ACA, either during it’s development or now, I still can’t help but be grateful that someone elses family won’t have to suffer the same terrible loss that we suffered.  That brings it down to the most personal level which is exactly what Daniels is talking about.  This is when, right or wrong, people look to their government for help…………………most of us don’t really have anywhere else to go to find the same kind of resolution to an injustice.  If the ACA had been in effect at the end of 2007 chances are very likely my niece would be alive today………………that’s a really life altering scenario to think about.

There’s a part of me that wishes things were different because I know it’s not necessarily fair to the rest of you who make it through life without this kind of event or are able to separate your logical and principled selves from needing or desiring any kind of assistance yourself.  The idea that a man like Daniel, could now be attempting to influence a debate about background checks tells me all I need to know about reality.

WASHINGTON — Elvin Daniel, 56, is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association, an avid hunter and a self-described “constitutional conservative” from a small town in Illinois. He became an unlikely witness for the Democrats on Wednesday at the first-ever Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence against women.

Daniel choked back tears at the hearing as he recounted the story of his sister, Zina, who was shot and killed by her estranged ex-husband in 2012. After her ex slashed her tires and physically threatened her, Zina had obtained a restraining order against him, which should have prohibited him under federal law from buying a gun. But he was able to purchase a gun online, where private sellers are not required to conduct background checks.

“Now I’m helping to care for my two nieces who lost their mother and who will have to grow up without her,” Daniel told the committee. “I’m here today for Zina and for the stories like Zina’s that happen every day because of the serious gap in our gun laws that continue to put women’s lives in danger.”

American women account for 84 percent of all female gun victims in the developed world, and more than a quarter of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by an intimate partner.

The two bills being considered in the Senate, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would strengthen federal gun prohibitions for convicted domestic abusers and those deemed by a judge to be a physical threat to a woman. Klobuchar’s bill would include physically abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers in the category of persons who are prohibited from buying or possessing a gun. Blumenthal’s bill would ban guns for those who have been issued a temporary restraining order by a judge for domestic violence.

All the provisions being discussed are supported by a majority of Americans, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll. But gun limits are difficult for Congress to pass, even when they are broadly supported by voters, due to the strong opposition of the well-funded and well-organized gun rights lobby. A popular bill that would have closed gaping holes in the federal background checks system fell just short last year of the 60 votes it needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The NRA is already fighting Klobuchar’s bill, claiming that it “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.”

“If we can save just one life, that would be worth everything we’re going through,” Daniel said. “And I know we can save more than one life.”

Daniel’s Testimony and More is from Huffingpost which I realize is a very partisan source.  I read about it somewhere else but now can’t find the source.  At least it’s not Reuter’s Scott…………………LOL

Here’s a little less partisan one but still not the one I was looking for.

46 Responses

  1. There are many reasonable gun regulations that can be passed without violating Second Amendment principles. Without reading the bills, I can only say that the discussion is reasonable – except for the chivalrous 18th century notion that those deemed by a judge to be a physical threat to a woman, but not to a male, are to be singled out.

    But Lulu, and this is a very large “but”, bills that federalize domestic violence crimes before a conviction, and state TROs, are fraught with a different kind of peril – the peril that comes with assuming all government must come from Washington DC in a federal system that was intended to leave domestic violence public safety to the states.

    I wish that the Illinois legislature was having this discussion. The federal interest is really in interstate dealings of arms and I am all for putting gun shows under the same federal regulations as retail gun sellers. I have no problem with registering final judgments of state courts – injunctions and convictions and NCM rulings – with gun dealers of all kinds. Once there is a final judgment it should be, in fact, honored by other states and the federal government.

    Fortunately for my qualms about federalism, merely having limited this killer’s online purchasing opportunity might have saved a life.

    Like

  2. Mark

    The federal interest is really in interstate dealings of arms and I am all for putting gun shows under the same federal regulations as retail gun sellers. I have no problem with registering final judgments of state courts – injunctions and convictions – with gun dealers of all kinds. Once there is a final judgment it should be, in fact, honored by other states and the federal government.

    Agree completely. I suppose we’ll have to investigate the bills a little further to see what they actually do say in regards to this. It seems to me that a lot of gun sales are either out of state, online or at gun shows. Perhaps the Federal government IS the only entity that can control registration in these instances………….I don’t really know.

    Regarding the “chivalrous” aspect of the violence against women, I don’t think the laws should select women as the only objects of domestic abuse but I’m pretty sure they are primarily the ones who suffer the most. And I also believe we have a particularly nasty problem with it here in the US. I think they’ve singled out domestic abusers as an obvious target because there are so many of them and they are buying guns and we have some form of criminal records that identify them.

    Like

  3. Do you accept that with any fundamental change in the structure of our healthcare, there are trade-offs. In that some who would have lived if it had not been changed will die and others who might have died under the previous structure would live.

    If you accept the above, what would you say to someone who lost their child because of the change?

    Like

  4. Mark, that’s probably true which is why I said the laws shouldn’t target only women as victims of domestic abuse but still 85 vs 15 is pretty powerful. I’m sure under reporting goes on with both men and women………………..think rape victims or just women who give men another chance or even two or three chances. Happens all the time.

    Like

  5. McWing, I’m certain there are trade offs that a lot of people are unhappy with. I know most everyone here is very unhappy. If it costs lives to add more than 6 million people to the category of “insured”, that’s just wrong. I’m pretty sure that even as bad as Obama is that wasn’t his intention. Our health care system has a lot wrong with it and I find it highly doubtful that the ACA will solve many of the problems but the new regulations regarding pre-existing conditions, rescinding regulations, max patient contribution etc. should be saving lives.

    If you have some examples I wish you’d just share them with me rather than challenge me with a hypothetical.

    Like

  6. Do you believe it’s possible that even one person will die because of the change that otherwise wouldn’t have?

    Like

  7. I don’t know McWing, I hope not, but I know that people will still die because of lack of care for a variety of reasons.

    Is there any perfect solution do you think?

    Like

  8. I confess that I do not understand the logic behind the notion that passing a new law would somehow have prevented this murder from happening. Domestic abuse is against the law, but he still broke that law and beat her up. The restraining order made it against the law for him to approach her, but he violated the order and did it anyway. It also made it illegal for him to possess a gun, but he went ahead and got one anyway. Murder itself is against the law, but he broke that law too and killed her. Yet somehow we are expected to believe that if the manner in which he got the gun was somehow made illegal, he wouldn’t have gotten a different gun illegally, and all would have turned out fine? I don’t get it.

    BTW, “If it saves just one life” is just a platitude that ultimately doesn’t make much sense in almost any context. There are always trade-offs. Banning left-hand turns in cars would certainly “save just one life”. Should we do that?

    Like

  9. I don’t know McWing, I hope not, but I know that people will still die because of lack of care for a variety of reasons.

    We all die eventually of course and in a world of limited resources perfection impossible.

    I guarantee there are people who will die do to the changes wrought by Obamacare. It’s interesting that you harbor a level of doubt about that.

    Like

  10. Scott, I don’t understand the logic behind not wanting to place another obstacle in place for him to acquire a gun.

    I realize it’s a platitude which is why I said it “is not a very legitimate tool to use to bring about change” but my point really was just that our perception changes when that life is someone we love. It sort of stops being a platitude.

    The reason I picked Daniel’s story is because he seemed like a very unlikely candidate to change his mind re gun control. These events change our reality to the point where we desperately want to make a difference.

    I also think this desire is missing from a lot of discussions re gun control, health care, environmental protections etc. If the discussion only centers around money, freedom and state vs federal regulations, the ultimate goal of the legislation for those of us who fight for these things gets lost. And here, I’m just talking about regular “joes” like Daniel, not political operatives or the movers and shakers in either party.

    If I have any sort of purpose here at ATiM it’s my opinion it is to remind all of you that these changes matter to people on a very personal level.

    Like

    • lms:

      I don’t understand the logic behind not wanting to place another obstacle in place for him to acquire a gun.

      Because it is only really an obstacle to people who are going to follow the law anyway, the exact opposite of those who you should want to stop. Again, do you honestly believe that a man who is willing to beat his wife, violate a restraining order, illegally possess a gun and use it to kill his wife is somehow going to be deterred by making it illegal to buy a gun from a private dealer without a background check?

      Besides, there is always…always… another obstacle that “might” have made a difference. At what point does it become too much? If that is your calculation..why not place another obstacle in his way…then you might as well call for the elimination of the second amendment and outlaw all manufacturing and selling of all firearms, because that is where such thinking must lead to eventually. (And even that won’t work, at least not for many, many years, until all the previously manufactured weapons no longer work.)

      These events change our reality…

      But they don’t change actual reality.

      I am extremely wary of having personal, emotional stories drive policy making decisions. There’s a reason why disinterested 3rd parties, judges and juries, preside over trials and sentencing rather than having victims and/or their families do so. Because objective reason, not emotion, is more likely to provide a just result. I think the same way about law making.

      If I have any sort of purpose here at ATiM it’s my opinion it is to remind all of you that these changes matter to people on a very personal level.

      Right, because the rest of us are usually totally disinterested in how laws effect people.

      Like

  11. McWing

    I guarantee there are people who will die do to the changes wrought by Obamacare.

    You may be right of course but I’d like to know how you think this will happen. Is it because there will be a shortage of doctors or something? I’m afraid I don’t really understand what you’re getting at. A denial of services or what exactly?

    Like

  12. It’s pretty simple to conjure up a scenario. Someone has a catastrophic insurance plan that gets canceled because of Obamacre, and their income is such that they cannot afford a plan on the exchange, or a bureaucrat incorrectly enters their income into the formula and they are wrongly told they do not qualify for subsidies and cannot afford a plan without them. They contract a lethal and expensive illness and die where if they had been able to keep their original catastrophic plan they would have been able to acquire lifesaving or life prolonging treatment.

    Like

  13. McWing, how does conjuring up a scenario compare to actual lives that were lost pre the ACA? Anything can happen but should we have just let the status quo endure forever because we’re afraid or unwilling to take the chance that we can make the healthcare system better? That didn’t really seem like a solution to me. You already know I’m not a huge fan of what we got but to be perfectly frank, Republicans could have participated in better faith and maybe we would have gotten something that would have made a difference without being such a conglomeration of carve outs, penalties, and forced coverage. Who knows?

    I’m sorry, but I can’t really contemplate a scenario like that when I’ve already lived through a real life experience with an intent much more malicious. You’re talking to the wrong person I guess.

    Like

  14. Scenario two, cancer survivor loses their lifesaving doctor because their new Obamacare plan’s network excludes that particular doctor. That physician is a specialist in that form of cancer, patient’s cancer metastasizes and no practitioner in the new network is able to treat it as well as her specialist she lost. She dies as a result.

    Several million people lost their plans and or had their doctor networks narrowed. Millions are now without their previous insurance and millions more without their lifesaving / prolonging specialist.

    Like

  15. I’m sorry, but I can’t really contemplate a scenario like that when I’ve already lived through a real life experience with an intent much more malicious. You’re talking to the wrong person I guess.

    There are trade-offs in everything and they should be acknowledged. My original question still stands and is, in my opinion, still valid. I don’t think your personal examples are being presented to stop any debate on the subject. I’m fascinated that you seem unwilling to acknowledge these tradeoffs will include lives.

    Like

  16. McWing, if you have links to support those millions of people who lost their life saving specialists and now they will die I’d like to see them. I’m not unwilling to acknowledge there are trade offs. I’m saying I’d like to see proof and that it means loss of life and I don’t think such a trade off was intended.

    Out to watch a movie with my sister. See y’all manana.

    Like

  17. Scott

    Again, do you honestly believe that a man who is willing to beat his wife, violate a restraining order, illegally possess a gun and use it to kill his wife is somehow going to be deterred by making it illegal to buy a gun from a private dealer without a background check?

    Yes. I don’t imagine that many abusers actually know off hand where to buy a gun on the streets, but it only took this guy one day to buy a gun without a background check. That pretty much narrows down the stumbling blocks to purchasing a gun. A lot of these crimes are ones of momentary passion so I think it makes sense to add those hurdles to the purchase.

    then you might as well call for the elimination of the second amendment and outlaw all manufacturing and selling of all firearms, because that is where such thinking must lead to eventually.

    I don’t have a problem with people owning guns who are responsible owners and can pass a background check. I think it’s up to law enforcement to find and jail the illegal dealers and get those guns off the street.

    And even that won’t work, at least not for many, many years, until all the previously manufactured weapons no longer work

    My personal goal is not to get all guns off the market, just the illegal ones and have background checks be a more universal requirement. I think Mark makes a better point that it should be a matter for the states except that means people are free to wander across borders or purchase through the internet which is why I think it makes it a Federal issue.

    Right, because the rest of us are usually totally disinterested in how laws effect people.

    I’m not claiming that the rest of you are disinterested in how laws effect people, I’m claiming that you need someone here to remind you of the reason these laws matter to people on a very personal level. I’m talking about the victims of our lax background check laws or the pre ACA victims of the failure of the health care system.

    My entire point rested on the fact that once you’ve become a victim of either one, your perception changes, and right or wrong, you are compelled to make changes in the status quo specifically because it is so personal. That’s what I’m trying to bring back to ATiM. But don’t worry I won’t bring it up too often.

    Because objective reason, not emotion, is more likely to provide a just result. I think the same way about law making.

    I know you do. The problem is I don’t recall you or most of the other L/C’s offering many, if any, solutions to the problems that some of us have had to face. If the answer is no lawmaking, I think that’s a problem.

    Like

    • lms:

      A lot of these crimes are ones of momentary passion so I think it makes sense to add those hurdles to the purchase.

      If a guy goes out his way to buy a gun that he is not legally allowed to possess in order to violate a restraining order against him and kill his ex-wife, it seems unlikely to me to be a crime of momentary passion.

      Maybe the proposed law is a good one and maybe it isn’t. But that should be evaluated objectively on the merits, not based on emotion over an injustice that the law was unlikely to stop in any event.

      I don’t have a problem with people owning guns who are responsible owners and can pass a background check

      But eliminating the second amendment would put an obstacle in the way of bad guys. I don’t understand the logic behind not wanting to put another obstacle in place for them to acquire guns.

      I think Mark makes a better point that it should be a matter for the states except that means people are free to wander across borders or purchase through the internet which is why I think it makes it a Federal issue.

      So is Mark right or not? I have no idea what you think when you say things like this. It’s a good point that it should be a matter for the states, but it should be a federal issue. Huh?

      I’m claiming that you need someone here to remind you of the reason these laws matter to people on a very personal level.

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t need any such thing.

      My entire point rested on the fact that once you’ve become a victim of either one, your perception changes…

      Yes, I know. And my point is that a change in one’s perception due to a highly emotional event makes one less, not more, objective about reality. And law making should derive from objective, rational analysis of reality, not emotionalism.

      The problem is I don’t recall you or most of the other L/C’s offering many, if any, solutions to the problems that some of us have had to face.

      If you have a specific problem, I would be more than happy to help you solve it. Of course, not all problems are solvable, which you need to understand up front.

      If the answer is no lawmaking, I think that’s a problem.

      Lawmaking is the solution to a very specific and limited set of “problems”. It is not a cure-all for every problem faced by humans, and when it is treated as such, it ends up creating far more problems than it solves. The belief that government is or even can be a generic “problem solver” for nearly every problem faced by humans is a fundamental flaw in liberalism.

      Like

  18. Scott

    If a guy goes out his way to buy a gun that he is not legally allowed to possess in order to violate a restraining order against him and kill his ex-wife, it seems unlikely to me to be a crime of momentary passion.

    I think we’re both just speculating here but apparently in this case it only took him one day to purchase a gun…………I think that still qualifies as a crime of passion. All I’m saying is it was pretty damn easy for him to pick up a gun legally which makes no sense to me considering his background.

    Re Second Amendment, I don’t think gun ownership is an all or nothing proposition. Why do you assume that’s what I want just because I personally favor more stringent background checks?

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t need any such thing.

    Too late.

    And my point is that a change in one’s perception due to a highly emotional event makes one less, not more, objective about reality. And law making should derive from objective, rational analysis of reality, not emotionalism.

    Well then I guess it’s a good thing that neither Daniel nor I are legislators. For lawmakers, when the personal stories of their constituents add up to large numbers as we saw during the health care debate, then changes need to happen. If people like him don’t share their story then how does anyone know there’s a problem. I don’t think you can silence us because you don’t like to hear our stories.

    If you have a specific problem, I would be more than happy to help you solve it.

    Exactly how would you have gone about solving the problem that my niece’s insurance policy was rescinded because of a false claim by the insurance company while we were waiting for approval of treatment?

    It is not a cure-all for every problem faced by humans

    I know, which is why I only mentioned two.

    I’m taking off again so if you respond, or anyone else does, I’ll get back to it later.

    Like

    • lms:

      Why do you assume that’s what I want just because I personally favor more stringent background checks?

      I don’t assume that is what you want. I am simply making the point that, as I said, there is always another “obstacle” that could conceivably be put in place up to and including repeal of the second amendment, and so unless you advocate such a repeal, arguing for a particular law simply because it is an “obstacle” to a bad guy isn’t a terribly good argument.

      For lawmakers, when the personal stories of their constituents add up to large numbers as we saw during the health care debate, then changes need to happen.

      Not necessarily changes in the law. Again, in a free society the law exists for a very limited, narrow purpose. It does not exist to solve every personal problem an individual can face, even if lots of individuals face the same problem.

      This is where we fundamentally disagree. I think government exists to protect freedom. You think it exists to “solve problems”.

      Exactly how would you have gone about solving the problem that my niece’s insurance policy was rescinded because of a false claim by the insurance company while we were waiting for approval of treatment?

      Not being a lawyer, I probably couldn’t have been much help. But if the insurance company was engaging in fraud, I am sure there was a legal case to be made. It wasn’t ACA that made fraud illegal.

      Like

  19. Scott

    there is always another “obstacle” that could conceivably be put in place up to and including repeal of the second amendment, and so unless you advocate such a repeal, arguing for a particular law simply because it is an “obstacle” to a bad guy isn’t a terribly good argument.

    Ahhhhh, the slippery slope argument. I’m making a reasonable argument for background checks and you’re arguing that we can’t do that just in case we end up repealing the second amendment. Okay. If it’s not enough for me to say I have no desire to see that happen, and I really don’t think there’s any likewise desire from the Democratic Party, then I really don’t know what else to say. It’s the same argument the NRA makes so I guess you’re in good company.

    This is where we fundamentally disagree. I think government exists to protect freedom. You think it exists to “solve problems”.

    Why is it either or…………….I think it’s both.

    But if the insurance company was engaging in fraud, I am sure there was a legal case to be made. It wasn’t ACA that made fraud illegal.

    The ACA strengthened the rescission rules regarding misrepresentation and notice of cancellation, both of which would have probably saved Maggie. They eventually settled out of court to avoid a fraud charge on another matter of her case which was less instrumental in her death but could have gone either way really.

    Pre-ACA, because of the lax rules and open interpretation of said rules nearly 50% of people in the individual market who became seriously ill had their policies cancelled. That’s what the ACA corrected.

    Like

    • Lulu, I think NoVA will agree that more persons are covered now with less risk of cancellation, which is what George should read – but from NoVA, not from me. I am guessing. NoVA, I suspect, knows.

      Scott, reasonable gun regulation within the confines of 2d Amendment freedom are possible. I will be the first to line up and predict there would be no discernible change in gun homicide rates for, say, 30 years due to reasonable but more restrictive gun regs/laws. But it has been more than fifty years since most law enforcement groups in America have been arguing for these changes. The number of Saturday night specials still in operating pink that are more than 30 years old is nil. The journey of 1000 mi. begins with one step.

      The Supremes have given fairly explicit guidance as to what may be regulated without violating the 2nd A.
      Aside from interstate/commercial sales/gun shows/internet sales, These proposed new laws and regulations should be argued in the state capitols and the city councils.

      Like

      • Mark:

        Scott, reasonable gun regulation within the confines of 2d Amendment freedom are possible.

        Yes, I am well aware of that, thanks. I wasn’t disputing that the 2nd amendment allows for reasonable gun control. (In fact properly understood the 2nd amendment allows for total gun control at the state level.)

        What I was questioning, as I thought was clear in my original, was the logic behind the notion that yet another law would have deterred someone who was manifestly unconcerned with breaking all kinds of other laws, including murder.

        Like

    • lms:

      Ahhhhh, the slippery slope argument. I’m making a reasonable argument for background checks and you’re arguing that we can’t do that just in case we end up repealing the second amendment.

      No that is not what I have argued. Please read what I have written, and the context in which it was written.

      You questioned the logic in objecting to putting another “obstacle” in the way of the killer obtaining a gun. I am merely pointing out to you that the exact same question could also be used against an objection to repealing the second amendment. If you see that such a question is not a sensible retort to someone who objects to repealing the second amendment (and you should, since you yourself are against such a repeal), then you should also see that it is not a sensible retort to someone who objects to a different “obstacle”.

      Why is it either or

      Because the only tool the government has for doing anything is the legal use of force. And if force is not being used to protect someone’s freedom, then it necessarily is being used to violate someone’s freedom. That is why it is either/or.

      The ACA strengthened the rescission rules regarding misrepresentation and notice of cancellation, both of which would have probably saved Maggie.

      Perhaps, but that is not the core of ACA. It could easily have been done, and maybe should have been done, without, for example, the individual mandate, or the employer mandate, or the exchanges, or the subsidies, or virtually any other part of the bill.

      Like

  20. Scott

    Part 1 of your slippery slope argument: At what point does it become too much? If that is your calculation..why not place another obstacle in his way…then you might as well call for the elimination of the second amendment and outlaw all manufacturing and selling of all firearms, because that is where such thinking must lead to eventually.

    Part 2 of your slippery slope argument: here is always another “obstacle” that could conceivably be put in place up to and including repeal of the second amendment.

    Forgive me that’s what I read in both of those statements.

    And if force is not being used to protect someone’s freedom, then it necessarily is being used to violate someone’s freedom.

    I like to call it compromise.

    It could easily have been done, and maybe should have been done, without, for example, the individual mandate, or the employer mandate

    I agree. I think the exchanges were a good idea and the subsidies a necessity. Coverage for pre-existing conditions a must. Medicaid expansion I don’t like and many other parts of the bill as well.

    Like

    • lms:

      Part 1 of your slippery slope argument:

      It’s not a slippery slope argument. Again, you were the one who claimed not to see the logic is opposing “obstacles”. I am simply pointing out the obvious contradiction in your failure to see why anyone would oppose “obstacles” while you yourself are opposing “obstacles”.

      I like to call it compromise

      I’d like to call the one dollar bill I have in my pocket a one thousand dollar bill, but that doesn’t make it one. A compromise is something that people who want different things willingly agree to in order to get part of what they what. Getting what you want, or even part of what you want, via the force of law is the exact opposite of a “compromise”.

      Like

  21. Lulu, I think NoVA will agree that more persons are covered now with less risk of cancellation, which is what George should read

    That has nothing to do with my original question. It’s also completely irrelevant to health or prolonging life. It’s the least valuable metric as this fantastically ignored study ably demonstrate.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1212321

    Note also that Jonathan Gruber is an author.

    Like

    • http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1212321

      is an interesting read in its entirety. Thanks for linking it, George. I may not have read the same relevancy to the discussion of whether change simply creates different victims as you did. But I repeated the link because I think all of us should read it.

      Like

      • McWing:

        Eighth time’s a charm? You’ve been periodically linking to that article about Oregon since March. You finally got someone besides me to read it!

        Another one that you linked to that I thought was worthwhile was this one.

        Like

  22. @McWing: “If you accept the above, what would you say to someone who lost their child because of the change?”

    I assume you ask that to demonstrate the fallacy of the argument? The goal with healthcare policy is mitigation, I think: reduce overall deaths related to non-coverage in the hopes that the net savings is more lives saved than lost. You may be shifting costs around, but the eventual goal is that you save more lives than you spend, so to speak. Although with something as messy and imprecise as the ACA, I think it’s hard to quantify rational expectations, or assess them accurately after the fact.

    Real life savings ultimately happens in the technological realm, so the most destructive potential of a national healthcare policy is one that removes profit from healthcare innovation, like pretty much every country that has single-payer has managed to do. The ACA hasn’t done that, so we’re probably not much worse off than we were, though perhaps some innovations will be slowed down so that they come to us a few years later than they might. If every country in the world continued to offer huge financial rewards for healthcare innovation, who knows where we might be by now. 😉

    One could easily argue, however, that how FDA handles both drugs and medical devices results in both more death and chronic pain than lack of insurance coverage ever has. Why is there no clamor to change how the FDA does things? For net life savings, there are much better places to look than insurance coverage. But an emphasis on entitlements often limits our thinking, when a much more rigorous PhysEd program in our public schools might save more lives, extend more lives, do more to battle depression, and improve overall test scores (and lead to more life fulfillment) for significantly less money than the ACA or any alternative federal healthcare entitlement.

    But that wouldn’t put a 7th of the economy under increasingly greater control by the Federal Government. So, nah.

    Like

  23. In regards to online gun sales, I’m all for much more restrictive laws regarding gun sales and gun registration, but the way the argument is being made is just terrible.

    @ScottC: “I am extremely wary of having personal, emotional stories drive policy making decisions.”

    They shouldn’t, not ever, but they often do. So we focus on the wrong things for the results we actually desire, because the things that best deliver those results do not have compelling emotional stories. And we want a world where rules and laws can create a utopia where personal responsibility plays no role, and that’s not going to happen. And I use “responsibility” in the most neutral way possible: it’s entirely unfair that bad choices or lack of information or whatever results in a domestic murder, but that some point the only way to prevent all domestic violence would be to outlaw any form of cohabitation.

    I don’t think there should have been any way for this guy to get a gun, not because of the story but on general principle. However, O.J. Simpson didn’t need a gun. And this guy would not have either. In the same time frame it took to load and shoot the gun, he could have knifed his wife several times. This guy could have easily beaten his wife to death, and probably would have. Pass the laws because they are good ideas, and better tracking of gun sales can aid in the prosecution of gun crimes. Not because of some unknowable fantasy where this guy can’t buy a gun, so decides to let his wife live in peace.

    Like

  24. Hah. To be fair NoVa’s linked it as well. Maybe I oughta send this stuff to somebody else to post, then it’ll get read.

    Like

  25. I’m pretty sure that to sell a gun online requires a background check and the weapons must be shipped by Federally licensed dealers.

    Unless you’re the Justice department. Then you can ship directly to the cartels.

    I’d argue that voting is a much more dangerous activity. The same rules that apply to gun ownership should apply to voting.

    Like

  26. 11:42 PDT WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.

    The panel voted Thursday to declassify the report, the result of two years of investigation by the committee. U.S. intelligence agencies will have to approve making the report public.

    Thompson said the report “confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.”

    That conflicts with accusations of administration wrongdoing voiced by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), whose House Government Oversight and Reform Committee has held hearings on the Benghazi attack.

    http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/House-panel-No-administration-wrongdoing-in-5663509.php?cmpid=twitter

    Like

  27. Heh.

    Like

  28. I’ve read the Oregon study before. Could someone explain how it is relevant to the discussion we were having in this thread?

    Like

  29. Universal Coverage,in the macro-sense,does not Save Just One Life.

    Like

  30. Double Heh.

    Mia Love unavailable for comment.

    Like

  31. Triple Heh.

    Like

Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: