Why can't the government do anything right?

Oh. I guess maybe it can.

TRICARE is the Department of Defense’s (DOD) health care system for active duty and retired uniformed service members and their families. TRICARE consists of four separate programs. Three of these programs—TRICARE Prime, a managed care option; TRICARE Extra, a preferred provider option; and TRICARE Standard, a fee for service option—cover active duty personnel, their dependents, and retirees under age 65.

According to the 2008 Tricare Stakeholder's Report:

More than 9 million Americans rely on us for their health care needs

9.2 Million active duty and retired uniformed service member and their families receive their healthcare from the federal government. My family and I receive free healthcare from the federal government. 9 million citizen already receive their healthcare from the federal government. I provide healthcare for the federal government. I'm an active duty obstetrician/gynecologist in a major medical facility on the East Coast. I'd like to share a couple of observations regarding the current single payer healthcare system that I work in and for which my family receives its care.


It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

I never hear about these things on AM Radio for some reason....

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Tricare is not perfect,

but it definitely works. And it's not just a "free benefit" thing or a back-up for military care availability. For those who are no longer active duty or retired (with bennies), Tricare provides health care coverage (for a family, mind you) for a few hundred dollars per month, as opposed to the $1,000+ per month that most private insurers charge.

Not as many choices, and (like Medicare) there are administrative hiccups that have some doctors pulling their hair out trying to get reimbursed. But it functions, and a whole lot of people that couldn't afford spending $15,000 per year on health insurance are covering their families with Tricare.

Well, I guess if it took Nixon to go to China...

...it would take a liberal to use as a model for a single-payer healthcare system one that requires an extensive physical and mandated physical fitness for its primary members as the centerpiece of eligibility.

Then again - if Obama is backing off his campaign pledges on taxing health benefits and mandates I should be surprised at what proponents of government-run care will do to make it happen.

You must not spend much time around the military

Your weasel word ... primary members ... undercuts your entire irrelevant point. Dependents outnumber active duty personnel by a wide margin, and they have no "extensive physical and mandated physical fitness" whatsoever.

And then, of course, there's all those guys with PTSD, legs blown off, drug habits, drinking habits, and worse. They really help drive down the cost of care, don't you think?

Your smart assiness has never been all that endearing, and it's especially unappealing when you have little idea what you're talking about.

I don't spend enough time around the military

to wrap myself up in self-righteousness about the military - I find it annoying when Sarah Palin does it; but seeing that you lead with it - it made me feel a little bit better that behavior transcends the ideological divide.

As for "smart assiness", I prefer it to ignoring one of the most important variables in the discussion. The dependents who so greatly outnumber the active duty personnel are much more often than not younger than the "primary members". While some portion of the population encounters the aggravating cost factors you previously mentioned - you ignore the most important one: getting older.

The cohort covered by Tricare is likely a bit younger than the population overall. When a company is negotiating coverage for their employees - the average age is a huge determining factor. In companies with a large number of older workers, it's not unusual to see the younger ones opt out and take whatever credit they can elsewhere to buy insurance on the open market. I've seen it happen first hand and I've heard HR people complain that it's not an isolated experience.

The thorniest issues aren't insuring kids...or even people under 40. The biggest problems exist with paying for the costly care among older workers - let alone how we're going to afford the existing coverage for the elderly. And that's where things start breaking down...at least for me from my experience on this subject and a review of the data - or should I just take your word for it because I "have little idea what I'm talking about"

It would seem you aren't spending enough time around

teh Google either.

If you had employed something other than your self assured insistance that you might be able to take a smart assed comment and make it into something of interest, well, you fail miserably.

See, teh Google has all kinds of information you can ascertain prior to making another incorrect statement.

For instance, you will find that the average age of those covered under TRICARE are not at all what you stated as "likely" above. The word Likely gives me the feeling that you aren't interested in reality. The fact that you used that word in an arguement confirms it.

Medicare and Medicade already cover the elderly. They aren't real happy about the donut hole in their prescription drug coverage, however overall minus that situation they are pretty happy with their healthcare.

Truly, you do have little idea of what you are talking about.

Teh Google is your friend.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Reasoned discussion?

I consider it one of the lowest forms of blog commenting to make an unsubstantiated claim and to claim the absence of prolific rebuttal as proof of validity. It's not exactly "reasoned discussion".

Lowest form?

ad hominem is lower. And you're the first not to employ it - thanks!

Let me handle it this way...do you have evidence that the median age for Tricare recipients is higher than the median age for the US or for most other health care providers? No, you don't because it isn't.

There's plenty of evidence that the median age would be lower: upper age limits for recruitment, younger retirement age, etc. to support the claim that the Tricare population would not be representative of a universal, socialized system on age alone.

The both the article linked to and this claim is specious and it's a pretty flimsy argument for the Soviet-style system the Left preaches about.

I'm glad you're replying to yourself

and saving others the trouble.

PS Using a conditional verb in conjunction with the word "evidence" is a logical fallacy.

There's plenty of evidence that the median age would be lower.

You'll need to say "is" lower, not "would be lower" to have evidence apply in any meaningful sense of the word. And neither side of this discussion has brought forth facts to back the assertions. Not that it matters. You'd be against a single-payer public plan if god herself handed it down from on high. That's because the left is trying to find a way to manage healthcare that works. The right opposed those efforts based only on anti-government ideology.

But thanks for sharing.

You really need a simple world

like Star Wars. One simply bifurcated into two groups: good (everyone who agrees with you) and evil (anyone who would dare challenge you)

Do you really know me well enough to think that you can extrapolate every facet of my world view? Do you really think that I immediately run to my party's platform or to AM radio for my every fix? If so, what the hell am I doing occassionally poking around this site?

It's unfortunate, because - while single-provider healthcare would be a disaster - there's a least more rhetoric about addressing health care challenges from the Left than from the folks I roll with. If more of you would abandon this fundamentalist attachment to collectivism - I think you could come to an appealing and workable solution...but you won't. Instead, you'll ignore the facts and use flimsy examples like Tricare or Canada; and call the organizations that actually provide care greedy and evil. And equating anyone who disagrees with you to Darth Vader.

Your insistence on your claim to infallability tells me that you're not interested in engaging in a discussion of the nuances of the various approaches; but rather throwing me in a bin and "fighting the good fight against evildoers" (an approach taken by a certain past President). So, instead of digging around mind-numbing statistics on Tricare - I'll save us both time: May The Force With You.


Sometimes simple is better, and projection is truly a magical mirror.

Do you really know me well enough to think that you can extrapolate every facet of my world view? Do you really think that I immediately run to my party's platform or to AM radio for my every fix? If so, what the hell am I doing occassionally poking around this site?

I don't know you at all, let alone any facet of your world view. All I know is what you write. And in that arena I have never seen you change your mind about anything. That's doesn't mean you haven't, I just haven't seen it.

Nor have I seen you criticize your colleagues on the right. Again, maybe you are a flaming watchdog over your fellows, I've just never seen it.

And for the record, I don't equate people who disagree with me as evil. I reserve that term for actions. For example, after much deliberation, I would apply it an industry where performance bonuses are tied to success in denying claims, and whose profit motive leads directly to unnecessary suffering.

Some suffering is unavoidable. It is the human condition. But we can do much better in helping when it comes to health and sickness.

Ad absurdum

It would only be ad hominem to the extent that you take ownership of it.

The Golden Straw Man award goes to the commenter demonstrating oustanding ability in the application of reductio ad absurdum.

Government programs?


I read one of these recently, though it was about fire protection, not police protection. Both are convincing in my view.

And to carry the analogy to an extreme, police provide protection to people and communities an a pretty universal basis. They will track down criminals who steal from you, even if you didn't lock your doors. And if you want the extra protection of alarm systems, private security, etc., you're free to buy it, no?

Do we live in a culture where recovering a stolen car is a higher priority than treating a poor child for asthma?

Maybe so.

That is why I asked our friend Cigar Face to use teh Google

The information is available, and if you know how to do the math, the answer is discernable. His reply was that if you don't provide a factual answer to his fictional question then he somehow has the upper hand. Since I took the time to use teh Google before replying, and I have some math skillz, I knew the answer. Because of his lazy, yet rambling comment back to me, he was ignored as he should be.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

While you're at it...

...you should read the report.

First of all, the numbers quoted were for ELIGIBILITY and not for actual use. As far as I could see, the numbers weren't there for actual enrollees.

As mentioned in the report, those eligible under 65 have a lower use rate because of access to private health benefits...which would leave me with this question: if it's superior - then why would people eligible not use it?

The bottom line is that I'm all for fixing health care in a way that doesn't result in higher taxes, fewer options, or dampen innovation in treatment options - a government-only option would insure all three.

Even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut

You've picked one program (I'll go on the assumption that the Kos article is accurate) that the feds run properly. What about those that are grossly mismanaged and bleeding profusely:
Social Security (The ultimate Ponzi scheme aka The Bernie Madoff Plan)
and on
and on
and on
and on........................................................

Government crises are usually manufactured to pick your pocket.

How precisely have the "R's" destroyed these programs

And BTW, I'm not an "R".

Government crises are usually manufactured to pick your pocket.