Wednesday, September 21, 2011

$16 Muffins, $10 Cookies, $8 Cups of Coffee

And they wonder why we're frigging pissed.

38 comments:

John Myste said...

And where is our doughnut for a nickle?!!!

#37927 said...

Probably not as much as some hospital charges;

Ampicillin/Sulbactam,

hospital cost $10,

Patient cost $378

one-gram Vancomycin

hospital cost $9.75 per injection,

Patient cost $387

Moxifloxacin IV,

hospital cost, $43.75

Patient cost $557

the markup was 2,999 percent average.

Probably just trying to catch up with the medical for profit industry will.

It ain't just the government who is fleecing people.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

37927, do the doctors + hospitals actually GET this money? I looked at one of my insurance statements and it said that my doctor visit was $150 but that it only paid him $64. Things get negotiated out. And another reason that the people get reamed sometimes is the fact that Medicaid and Medicare reimburse at such a crappy rate that they have to make up the money somehow. I'm not necessarily justifying it, just trying to figure it out.............John, I probably shouldn't admit this but I can actually remember paying a nickel for a doughnut.

dmarks said...

And the prices will go up. One of the very bad ideas of Obamacare is to include a provision for an unnecessary and greedy tax on medical equipment.

This will cause the loss of more than 40,000 jobs, force medical equipment makers to do more overseas instead of the USA, make healthcare more expensive, and denigrate the quality of care.

It's pure greed, and it is purely destructive.

And make hospital care worse and more expensive.

w-dervish said...

How did #37927 know what the heck Will was taking about? I sure as hell did not. Not until he posted a comment to his own post... then I was able to piece together that he was talking about a hospital visit (I think).

Anyway, this is the free market system (corporatocracy) you conservatives and moderate independent blue dogs love so much... so I don't see what the problem is.

Although it looks like dmarks thinks the prices for the muffin, cookie and cup of coffee were not high enough... because he used his comment to attack a tax used to fund the Affordable Care Act... a piece of legislation that is supposed bring down the costs for everyone.

Not a good thing if you favor maximum profits for the corporations and the wealthy.

dmarks said...

"a piece of legislation that is supposed bring down the costs for everyone."

Not really "supposed" to at all, when you have specific parts of it designed to drive up costs in an entire sector of the healthcare system (equipment). Greedy and destructive.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: Greedy and destructive.

I'd agree with you... if you were talking about the medical equipment manufacturers who don't want to pay the tax. That's the source of a alot of our problems. Exceedingly wealthy individuals and corporations who are awash in profit... and don't want to pay one nickel in additional tax. Their greed is very destructive.

dmarks said...

WD: "if you were talking about the medical equipment manufacturers who don't want to pay the tax."

They are already paying their fair share. That's not greed. The government is forcing them to raise prices. So the destruction is not their fault.

We need to encourage medical equipment innovation and production. This tax diminishes it.


"Their greed is very destructive."

Wanting to keep what you own is not greed. The greed is found in the rapaciousness of the ruling elites.

#37927 said...

Will I took the costs from a patient payment form and compared them to a supplies order form from the same hospital;

Both the cost to the hospital and patient were paid as described.


But notice how fast will is to BLAME medicare and the gobernment FOR A TOTALLY PRIVATE SECTOR TRANSACTION?

dmarks said...

So, Will. What do you think? Do you agree that the medical equipment manufacturers are a major destructive force in our society, and are greedy for not wanting to give away their products for free, and must be quashed?

It'd be a good one for a separate post.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: ...the medical equipment manufacturers are a major destructive force in our society, and are greedy for not wanting to give away their products for free, and must be quashed?

Is this what you think I suggested? If so you are quite wrong. I was talking about taxes, not giving way products for free.

btw, if taxes imposed by the government are "greed", then I assume you believe taxes should be zero? And you favor zero taxes for just the wealthy elites, I presume? Unless you believe we should dismantle government entirely?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, I was talking about a recent story that showed how a certain government agency was paying $16 per muffin, etc.. Of course, being that you seemingly only to watch MSNBC, I'm not necessarily surprised that didn't hear about it.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

37927, if an insurance company actually agreed to pay those costs, then they really need to fire some claims people.............And what did I say that was inaccurate? Medicare and Medicaid reimburse providers at a much lower rate than patients with private insurance. Why in the hell do you think that 50% of doctors refuse to even see Medicaid patients?

#37927 said...

If an insurance company actually agreed to pay those costs, then they really need to fire some claims people

Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag will;

The bill was paid by an uninsured person with a pre-existing condition, NO INSURANCE company would tough.

She was turned down by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA.

She cannot get employer health insurance because she works contract labor, job by job.

Her parents helped out.

So they paid full price because private Insurance companies who get to make deals to pay much less on the very same bills refused to cover her repeatedly.

Nice way to screw the public, let large corps pay much less if they allow you in the game they run, and screw the individuals who they refuse.

PS: I see you screech at Medicare for paying much less then an individual member of the public, but NEVER do the same when private for profit insurance corporations DO THE VERY SAME THING.

Kinda partisan don't you think?

dmarks said...

WD said/asked: "btw, if taxes imposed by the government are "greed", then I assume you believe taxes should be zero? And you favor zero taxes for just the wealthy elites, I presume? Unless you believe we should dismantle government entirely?"

Balance, ol' WD. Taxation only misses fitting the definition of theft by the mere technicality of legality. But this means that we need to only do it if necessary. And it is a necessary evil.

Back to the medical equipment manufacturers...come on now, if we are trying to improve healthcare, why damage it as this taxation does? It treats the production of medical equipment as a societal evil, like the taxes on cigarettes. I think that is insane.

Whatever the other issues are (such as the thousands of jobs being lost from this, the tax on tanning salons going to the health care plan makes a LOT more sense than going after equipment makers. Why? Because there is absolutely no negative impact on healthcare by going after tanning salon owners.

It was a big mistake for Obama's plan to force medical equipment providers to raise prices, diminish research and innovation, and shed/offshore jobs.

dmarks said...

And by the way, here is the aforementioned definition of theft.

Taxation strongly fits this definition, other than the technicality (important, but still a technicality) of legality:

"A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person's consent." (Legal Dictionary)

"the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it" (Merriam-Webster)

"the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another;" (Dictionary.com)

-------
Remove the highlighted words above (criminal, felonious, and wrongful) and these definitions of theft, or any definition, perfectly fit the situation of taxation.

It's a serious matter, and should not be done lightly or "just because".

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

37927, if you knew anything about my position on this issue you'd know that I am strongly in favor of universal coverage via Ezekial Emanuel's (a former Obama adviser - so, stuff it with your partisan jab) "Healthcare Guaranteed" proposal. That's first off. Secondly, private insurers DO pay more than Medicare and Medicaid. It's a flat-out fact. Try and change it if you must but you can't. And, thirdly, this person could have challenged these ludicrous charges through a consumer protection agency. Maybe he wouldn't have been successful but maybe the bad publicity would have induced a settlement.......Your lack of comments on the $16 muffins leads me to think that that's O.K. by you - government waste.

w-dervish said...

I think it's theft when corporations underpay their workers so they can overpay their upper management. The "theft" you refer to is actually justice. It's the people taking back that which was stolen and distributing it to the people who should have gotten it to begin with.

As for Will's claim that the only reason I didn't know what the hell he was talking about because I watch to much MSNBC... I call BS on that claim.

I posted a "rebuttal" on my blog. Read it and let me know if you agree or disagree.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

WD said "I think it's theft when corporations underpay their workers so they can overpay their upper management."

Which is nothing like the definition of theft, and you can't get there by altering technicalities.

"Overpay' and 'underpay' are merely perceptions of the characteristics of a deal. It all ends up meaningless, if someone chooses to work at a job that has a wage that perceive to be 'underpay'. The two people involved in the deal have determined it is fair, regardless of any false claim of theft. So it is no one else's business.

As long as the announced wage is paid, there's nothing like fraud or theft.

However, if a company says it will pay someone something, and they end up being paid less, then you CAN make a case for something like fraud or theft.

..."It's the people taking back that which was stolen..."

Stolen?? The only thing remotely like stealing in this is the instance of taxation.

"...and distributing it to the people who should have gotten it to begin with."

Which, as the case always is, are the people who rule society. The golden rule: those who make the rules get the gold. So the "theft" you advocate goes from the people to the rulers.

John Myste said...

Dervishes rebuttal is very funny. I hope you take it in the light-hearted manner it "SHOULD" have been intended.

I am not sure why he brings up Capital punishment in Mexico, though. Hmm.

w-dervish said...

If you threaten someone with a gun and demand their valuables is that not theft?

Well, I say it's theft if you threaten someone with starvation and homelessness unless they work for a wage that is less than the value of their work.

What dmarks describes as theft isn't actually theft at all. If everyone were paid fairly taxes could be significantly lower.

Those who make the rules get the gold? Sounds good to me, so long as the majority (and not the wealthy elites) are the ones making the rules... as it should be. It sounds to me like dmarks hates democracy.

#37927 said...

The Department of Labor is cracking down on wage theft.

Looks like DM is WRONG AGAIN;

Earlier this year, for example, the department recovered over $219,000 in back wages for 44 Boston-area restaurant workers who were misclassified as independent contractors by two restaurants. The restaurants had failed to pay them overtime and also weren't paying their payroll taxes.

Underpaying workers IS stealing from them, their labor is stolen.

In 2010, the Labor Department collected nearly $4 million in back wages on behalf of about 6,500 employees who had been misclassified, a 400 percent increase over the amount collected in 2008. The department has hired about 300 additional investigators to probe wage theft complaints.

Hey DM $4 million ain't chump change.

Oops DM has his foot in his mouth once again.

#37927 said...

As for the supposed $16 muffin;

Pete Yost of the Associated Press reports that Hilton Worldwide, which manages the Capital Hilton where the 2009 legal conference mentioned in the Justice Department's Inspector General report took place, says the breakfast "included fresh fruit, coffee, juice, muffins, tax and gratuity, for an inclusive price of $16 per person."

"Dining receipts are often abbreviated and do not reflect the full pre-contracted menu and service provided, as is the case with recent media reports of breakfast items approved for some government meetings," Hilton's statement said.


$16 for BREAKFAST at a 4-5 star Hotel doesn't seem out of line. Hell breakfast at Mickey D's c an cost $10 a person. IHOP more like the Hilton costs.


As usual people on the right took half a truth and ran like 3rd graders screeching about it, instead of learning ALL THE FACTS.

Too bad will fell for it .... eh?

dmarks said...

WD said: "Well, I say it's theft if you threaten someone with starvation and homelessness unless they work for a wage that is less than the value of their work."

1) I want everyone paid for the real value of the work, no more or less.

2) This has nothing to do with the definition of theft. You are doing a "i don't like it, so I can call it what I want" kind of thing.

"What dmarks describes as theft isn't actually theft at all."

Actually, it is very close to the actual definition of theft. Even if it does not meet the entire definition. I already gave extensive examples and referred to the actual definition.

"Those who make the rules get the gold? Sounds good to me"

That's fascism. The rulers getting everything,

"so long as the majority (and not the wealthy elites) are the ones making the rules."

If you have government, it is wealthy elites making rules. That is what government is.

"It sounds to me like dmarks hates democracy."

Well, actually, democracy should only run a limited amount of government functions. Not people's personal lives.

And remember, a fascist government chosen through a democratic process is still fascist.

The problem here whether or not the ruling elites have too much power, not whether or not they were chosen through a democratic process.

dmarks said...

WD said: "Well, I say it's theft if you threaten someone with starvation and homelessness unless they work for a wage that is less than the value of their work."

1) I want everyone paid for the real value of the work, no more or less.

2) This has nothing to do with the definition of theft. You are doing a "i don't like it, so I can call it what I want" kind of thing.

"What dmarks describes as theft isn't actually theft at all."

Actually, it is very close to the actual definition of theft. Even if it does not meet the entire definition. I already gave extensive examples and referred to the actual definition.

"Those who make the rules get the gold? Sounds good to me"

That's fascism. The rulers getting everything,

"so long as the majority (and not the wealthy elites) are the ones making the rules."

If you have government, it is wealthy elites making rules. That is what government is.

"It sounds to me like dmarks hates democracy."

Well, actually, democracy should only run a limited amount of government functions. Not people's personal lives.

And remember, a fascist government chosen through a democratic process is still fascist.

The problem here whether or not the ruling elites have too much power, not whether or not they were chosen through a democratic process.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

37927, I got my information from that sinister right-wing propagandizing machine, The Washington Post. The DOJ had this one conference that forked over $76 per head for lunch and $8.24 cups of coffee, and another where 250 muffins were purchased at a cost of $4,200 (roughly $16 per). An honest liberal like Patrick Leahy is absolutely outraged by this. Why not you? You don't care about the taxpayers?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You're right, though, somebody fell for something. $10 for breakfast at McDonald's - yeah, if you're a fucking pig! LOL

w-dervish said...

Will: I got my information from... The Washington Post.

This post SERIOUSLY did not deserve as many comments as it got. TWENTY SEVEN comments latter, and only then do we find out what the hell Will Hart was talking about!

If people like posts that contain next to zero information and make you guess as to what the author is talking about, I suggest reading my post, They Made an Exceedingly Bad Decision, As I'm Sure Everyone Who Isn't an Idiot Agrees. I only need 23 more comments to exceed the number Will's idiotic post got.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Anybody with even a passing interest in current events (as opposed to the selective dissemination of propaganda) had to have known what I was talking about.

John Myste said...

Dervish,

Firstly, I liked this post very much, primarily because of its obscurity.

Secondly, 12 of the comments were yours, I believe. That probably makes you the number one commenter, not bad for someone who doesn't like the post (I may have miscounted. I counted very fast, but it is close, either way).

Thirdly, your post was intended to satirize Wills and show it for what it was, but it only validated it. Your post was excellent. It reminded me of Will's, just as you intended.

I loved both works.

w-dervish said...

Any halfway decent writer knows you need to include WHO, WHAT, WHY, and WHEN. Instead Will blames the reader for his post's lack of information! Obviously Will has never taken a journalism or writing class... not one that didn't flunk out of, in any case.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Thank you, John. I appreciate it very much.......As for you, wd, ya' live in a bubble, bra. My grades? Leave me an address at Facebook (Willis Hart) and I'll send you a copy of my transcripts - all frigging 4 of 'em.

John Myste said...

Christ! Blogs are not supposed to follow the rules of journalism. I have had an immense amount of training in the art of writing, and I appreciated the post.

#37927 said...

More truth for will to chew on.

The Great $16 Muffin Myth

So did DOJ really pay $16 for muffins? Of course not. In fact, it's obvious that someone quite carefully calculated the amount they were allowed to spend and then gave the hotel a budget. The hotel agreed, but for some reason decided to divide up the charges into just a few categories instead of writing a detailed invoice for every single piece of food they provided.

And of course the hyperventilation by the right wing corporate owned media and bloggers who mindlessly accept their unsubstituted claims.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/22/opinion/welch-sixteen-dollar-muffin/index.html Gee, let's see, the Washington Post and CNN vs. Mother Jones and the HuffPo. Yeah, I think that I'll stick with the professionals on this one.......As for the Washington Post being owned by a corporate entity, you just might want to look at their editorial page instead. Yeah, they're REAL conservative. LOL!!!!!!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

According to the DOJ's own office of inspector general; $500,000 for food and beverages for 10 conferences. 10 conferences!!! My God, that's almost as expensive as McDonald's. LOL

#37927 said...

Will, sucks moose cock for Sarah Palin's enjoyment