Democrats & Liberals Archives

Playing For Pink Slips

For a while it eluded me. Why were the right so adamantly against healthcare reform? Why was this, above all other issues, the galvanizing force for the conservative base? And then I realized - it’s because we’re playing for keeps. Once this country has some form of accessible healthcare for every citizen, we can never go back.

In politics, most initiatives can be reversed in one way or another. But once the populace begins to see healthcare as a right and not a privilege, who will ever try and take it away? It would be the equivalent of abolishing the second amendment, or even the first.

Obama's momumental change is not in the details - it is in the concept. He intends to create a system in which every American citizen has some access to reasonable healthcare. It doesn't matter how rough and ready the bill is, all that matters is that in three years, when 50 million uninsured Americans are presented with the Republican option of removing that access, they will say no.

Obama will fight a hard, bruising battle over this issue. He will certainly lose some votes. But at the end of this debate, there will be some form of insurance for the sixth of the country that doesn't currently have it. And in politics, 50 million voices refusing to give up their right to some form of professional care is a major, major swing.

I'm trying to think of an equivalent over the last 20 years - can anybody help me?

Posted by Jon Rice at September 13, 2009 6:16 AM
Comments
Comment #288003

Jon,
The Founding Fathers of America gave “We the People” the College of Phyisicians of Philadephia and Americas’ Forefathers gave “We the People” the National Library of Medicine. And why I am not allowed to prove it, I do believe that it can be said that Americas’ Ancestors starting at the beginning of the 20th Century to build the hospitals, medical facilities, and rest homes necessary to care for our societys seniors. All using Federal Dollars.

However, I do believe most Americans forget that it took The Societal Argeement of the 70’s for us to have the medical access that we enjoy today. Because why I doubt if the Left or Right could prove that the Youth of the 60’s and and Silver Spoons of the 70’s want the Children of the 21st century to treat them the way the Parents and Grandparents of the 70’s was treated, with a 3:1 ratio of retirees to workers I can just hope the Voices lost in the Wilderness realize that America does have the technology to answer the Naysayers of America and Humanity as well as teach why America has a dedicated group of Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders willing to take the heat for “We the People” being Ignorant.

For as I shared with David and others about the idea of using remote screening and video up-link through Americas’ 911 Call Centers so the Average American could get a medical evaluation in a matter of seconds instead of minutes. Since I do believe such a Public Option would show the world that indeed America can lower the unnecessary trips to the emergency room and doctors’ office.

And why just a simple American Layman Citizen, I do believe President Obama and the Democratic Leadership in Congress could gain a lot of brownie points if they addressed mandating Healthcare Insurance for every American with a clause that allows a certain precentage of their healthcare premium going toward a Managed Personal Medical Savings Plan due to the benefits. Especially seeing that even the Hardcore Republicans would look silly voting againts a Healthcare Reform Bill that gives every American the opportunity to make their family Medically Self-Sufficient and Self-Insured someday. LOL

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2009 9:23 AM
Comment #288004

I’m just hoping we can get some of the wingnuts mental health care.

Posted by: gergle at September 13, 2009 9:31 AM
Comment #288008

Gergle,
That takes Education and the last time I check you still can’t use a 2x4 to get the undivided attention.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2009 10:12 AM
Comment #288010

Jon:

You may be right on here. In spite of the fact that many of the parts of the work-in-progress healthcare bill were input from Republicans, including the so-called “death panels”.

Funny that it is a proposal by Republicans that Republicans are trying to use against the bill.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 13, 2009 10:13 AM
Comment #288016

That’s not really funny womanmarine…not funny, ha-ha.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 13, 2009 12:26 PM
Comment #288017

Jon Rice wrote, “It doesn’t matter how rough and ready the bill is, all that matters is that in three years, when 50 million uninsured Americans are presented with the Republican option of removing that access, they will say no.” This sounds more like a political ploy to ensure democrat supremacy rather than a health care solution. Is that what this is about for democrats? Staying in power?

I wonder why Jon is using 50 million instead of the 30 million the President referred to. And, the President pointed out that many of the 30 million had no health insurance by “choice”. Hmmm, is taking away individual choice really a great American idea?

Jon is absolutely correct in stating the obvious. Once the government begins to “give” folks gifts it is very difficult, if not impossible, to ever wean them off the freebies. Medicare recipients, of which I am one, are very concerned that our benefits will be reduced and our premiums increased. We now have over 40% of our adult population paying no federal income tax. In fact, government has gone even further in its largess by gifting some of those who pay no income tax with an earned income tax refund check.

Should congress and the President be successful in establishing national health care there will indeed be no going back. We will just go forward with additional huge deficit’s or huge increases in taxes for those who choose to work and be productive. And, the nanny state will have increased its power and reduced our freedom.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2009 12:28 PM
Comment #288019

I agree with this. If Obama succeeds in proving that a government run option is viable and more efficient, then, as it should be, the private companies will have to become incredibly competitive or die. To the Right, this is a monumental loss of personal income, for CEO’s, senators, lobbyists, etc. They’re fighting tooth and nail to keep their private jets and cushy summer homes, not to “help” or “protect” Americans from “socialism”. Unfortunately, there are people who can not, or will not comprehend this, and so we have the hideous anti-obamaism that we see right now.

Posted by: Mike Falino at September 13, 2009 12:30 PM
Comment #288022
But once the populace begins to see healthcare as a right and not a privilege, who will ever try and take it away?

Yes, this is pretty much why conservatives have a problem with Obama’s approach. It has to do with what the idea of “rights” means, and what role government should play in enforcing these rights.

In how many other areas does having a “right” to something mean that the government is obligated to both provide it and pay for it? You mention the second amendment. While we have a right to bear arms, that has never been interpreted to mean the government has to purchase guns and hand them out to everybody who wants them.

Why is healthcare different? Because it’s necessary to live? Sometimes, sure, but not as necessary as food, clothing, and shelter. Why shouldn’t the government be responsibile for making sure that we all have equal food, clothing and shelter if those things are even more necessary to live than healthcare? Perhaps some liberals think that the government should be doing exactly that, which is a big reason why those of us who disagree feel the need to hold the line somewhere.

While things like food and shelter are “rights” in that the government can’t deny them to us or prevent us from getting them, we are responsible for securing them for ourselves, paying those who provide them, and getting something beyond what our neighbors have (if that’s what we want) on our own initiative. Conservatives fully agree that we should reform healthcare to make it accessible to whoever needs it, but feel the need to stop short of calling it a “right” because of the problems that would lead to.

Nobody has ever said that people shouldn’t have a “right” to healthcare insofar as it would be legally denied anyone. It’s about who pays for it, and whether it’s the government’s job to ensure that it’s “equal.” If liberals insist that government-financed healthcare really is a basic and essential human right, then everything needed to live will eventually be seen the same way. Government will increasingly be seen as our mommy and daddy whose job it is to give us everything we want and need and decide what those things are.

Posted by: Paul at September 13, 2009 12:48 PM
Comment #288024


This would make a great pep rally speech but, it is not a reflection of reality.

While Obama again proposed a public option, he also reassured Congress that he would sign whatever bill they send him.

How many of you think the blue dogs will sacrifice their Senate seats for the public option?

Tax-payer subsidized mandatory private health insurance is the most likely outcome but, none of the proposals truely address the growing health care costs.

The only way we can afford the baby boomer end of life health care cost is to prioritize. We will have to cut or eliminate other programs to pay for health care.

Posted by: jlw at September 13, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #288026

The idea of guaranteed rights is something of a touchy subject with the right. They always say democrats are trying to take away rights—which they’re not—yet at the same time the right is always trying to deny rights that should exist under government protection. They’re always saying how the left wants to take away guns, but that seems to be the only right the Right cares about. They love their religious freedom, except when it gives non-christian religions a fair shake. But mention a woman’s right to her body, the right for people to be guaranteed a standard of living, and the right for anyone to live a happy life with whomever they love and be protected under the law, and you’ll find no champion of rights from the Right!

The Right always loves to talk about how America is a place of Freedoms and Rights, yet they seem to only want to protect those rights that had nothing to do with the enlightenment principles under which this country was founded. All the things that the enlightenment taught us, and provided us with a foundation for our very country, the Right seems to abhor and detest…

Posted by: Mike Falino at September 13, 2009 1:35 PM
Comment #288027

The concept of insurance is good. The details are hard.

Consider that number you used - 50 million. First you padded it up to 50. The number they are using now is 47, but give or take 3 million. Many of those people CAN afford afford insurance, but they don’t want it. They make more than 50,000 and could afford it. About half of the remaining are illegal aliens, who supposedly won’t be covered anyway. In fact, there are about 10 million America citizens who would buy health insurance but cannot get it.

The most important detail is how to pay for it, BTW. You are right that once enacted it cannot be repealed. That means we will get stuck with those rising costs and that is why it is important to get it right and not just agree that it should be an unfunded right.

Posted by: Christine at September 13, 2009 2:28 PM
Comment #288028

It’ll probably be better funded than the Iraq and Afghan wars. I can accept that. No projections are going to be right anyway, we learned that these last 8 or so years.

So lets get the basics down and work out the funding as needed. Perhaps not borrowing from China.

I’m what you would probably call middle class. I would pay extra taxes gladly to fund some form of universal healthcare.

And frankly, too bad that those who can afford but don’t buy don’t want to. It’s everyone paying in before it’s needed that’s going to help with the funding. Heck, they might even stay healthier!!

Posted by: womanmarine at September 13, 2009 3:03 PM
Comment #288029

Womanmarine

I watched Senator Landreu (D LA) today. She mentioned that the total cost of Iraq and Afghanistan equal only 40% of one year of health care.

Anyway, your arguments is invalid. Just because you can point to one big expense doesn’t mean you should incur another.

A couple we know just got divorced. He bought a truck they couldn’t afford so she retaliated by buying a car they couldn’t afford. In the end they lost their house.

Anyway, health care expands forever. We could easily afford the level of health care we had in 1970 or even 1990. Progress in health care ensures that it becomes ever more expensive. We have to figure out HOW to ration it.

Until then, no serious health care reform can work if it doesn’t address tort reform & permit sale of policies across state borders.

I think we all agree in the that universal health care is a good idea if we could have it. How can we afford it? that is the question.

So if you have any ideas about how to fund it, w/o borrowing from China, I am sure President Obama would be happy to hear from you, because he has no ideas.

Posted by: Christine at September 13, 2009 3:23 PM
Comment #288031

I am just curious as to why many feel that a right to “free” medical insurance should trump the property rights of millions of Americans for infinite generations?

Posted by: submarinesforever at September 13, 2009 3:35 PM
Comment #288032

royal flush - it is difficult to wean ppl off the freebies - like the wealthy tax breaks.

Posted by: bluebuss at September 13, 2009 4:12 PM
Comment #288033

Christine said: “The concept of insurance is good.”

I disagree. The concept of insurance is philosophically and fundamentally a flawed concept. In essence, it entails a person betting with hard cash on their own misfortune. This plays into self-fulfilling prophecies, promotes in many, an absence of caution and concern, and succeeds only where the majority of those betting against themselves, lose their bet.

However, insurance as a social and individual tool to mitigate and disperse the consequential financial losses of risk taking for an individual, group, or organization, has practical application and benefits, for those who DO win their bet that their risk taking behavior will result in consequential or responsible losses to be incurred.

Because insurance only works when most rate payers do not collect what they pay in, the beneficiaries of insurance are the insurers who take their profits as part of business costs, their shareholders, and of course, that minority who receives equal or more insurance benefits than premiums they pay in. In this fashion, insurance is like any social program where everyone pays for the program’s protections but only a minority reap the actual pay out benefits.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2009 4:17 PM
Comment #288034

And while we are all distracted by health care, the banks are back to business as usual. Playing the risk investment game that drove our economy into recession and forced us to bail them out.

Mike, the social conservatives and the gun lobby are used by the minority as a means of dividing the masses for the purpose of protecting the minority’s rights of property.

The Constitution was primarilly written by the minority for the main purpose of protecting their right to property from the hands of Kings and commoners alike.

Unfortunetly, for the minority, a few of our founding fathers slipped a few interpretations into the document that were eventually used by the progressive movement to better the lives of the working class.

Unfortunately, the working class let the progressive movement weaken and be replaced by liberalism. It was an extremely costly mistake for workers.

Posted by: jlw at September 13, 2009 4:34 PM
Comment #288035


“And in politics, 50 million voices refusing to give up their right to some form of professional care is a major, major swing.”

“I’m trying to think of an equivalent over the last 20 years-can anyone help me?”

The first statement is rather a bogus claim. If 50 million voices were using their feet to march in the streets, health care reform would be a done deal.

As to the 20 year thing, how about 100 maybe 150 million Americans demanding an end to and the removal of illegal immigrants or demanding an end to the outsourcing of jobs.

No, in politics, the voices of millions is a meaningless joke.

Posted by: jlw at September 13, 2009 4:55 PM
Comment #288036

jlw, your first sentence is entirely and completely factually wrong.

Investments inherently contain risk by definition of the profit motive to invest, and banks have enormous deposits (hopefully, or they could not call themselves a bank) which must be invested in either loans or other instruments to insure a rate of return to keep the bank in revenues.

The banks assuming investment risks, of itself, is not what created the recession and forced us to bail them out. Leveraging or, borrowing to invest was the extremely high risk house of cards that came tumbling down. The securities backing that borrowing were mortgages, which were defaulting and losing market value as collateral. It was even more complex than this, with CDS and rating agencies and the SEC which didn’t do their job, but, that was the heart of the collapse.

Also, please define progressive and liberal please, as contextually there appears to be a great many definitions being referred to these days, it is hard to keep up with them all and know which apply.

Also, please don’t forget that the minority founding this country also slipped in some amendments to protect the rights and freedoms of the common working person as well, though they were not abided for more than a century and some cases, two, in actual application in a great many areas of our expanding nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2009 5:06 PM
Comment #288040

“everyone paying in before it’s needed that’s going to help with the funding. Heck, they might even stay healthier!!”

Respectfully, womanmarine, I’d rather gamble my money at the track. I’ve spent more money on health care for pets than I ever have on myself. I provide for my own health by eating good food in reasonable quantitities, drinking enough fluids to flush toxins out of my body, remaining as active as I can, and getting enough rest.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 13, 2009 8:00 PM
Comment #288041

David

Insurance does indeed come with the moral hazard that the insured is somewhat less likely to be prudent when he knows his costs are spread.

But the concept of insurance is sound. If we know that that one person in 100 will suffer a malady, but we don’t know which one, it is good to spread the risk. Insurance providers can lessen the total risk by demanding people take certain precautions and/or rewarding behavior that leads to less accidents etc.

Insurance pressure has done a lot to lessen fire risk, improve auto safety etc.

The problem for insurance comes when government forces coverage or subsidizes it, because it is in effect subsiding bad or risky behavior. For example, government subsidized flood insurance has created much suffering and environmental degradation by making it possible for people build in place that no rational person would risk unless he could get a free ride.

Health care, strictly speaking, is NOT an insurance problem. And it is a little dishonest for politicians to blur distinctions. What most people are asking for is not protection from catastrophic illness so much as for someone else to pay their bills for common illnesses or routine care. Besides that, it has the same moral hazards.

For example, obesity is responsible for much of the growth of health care costs. So do other lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking to excess and taking drugs. People who do these things are like those who build next to flooding rivers. They deserve to pay more and they should reform, but they also usually are poorer and less able to pay precisely because of their bad habits.

Posted by: Christine at September 13, 2009 8:16 PM
Comment #288045

What does Congress not like about the Healthcare bill that almost all members of the House and Senate vote to exclude the members of Congress from its provisions? If it was such a great bill, nothing to be afraid of, they would include themselves and their families…wouldn’t they?

Posted by: Tom Besly at September 13, 2009 8:59 PM
Comment #288048

I just had to share this, it’s hilarious. Kanye interrupts Obama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxKIcrDsJAs

Posted by: gergle at September 14, 2009 12:20 AM
Comment #288051

Christine,

Health care, strictly speaking, is NOT an insurance problem. And it is a little dishonest for politicians to blur distinctions. What most people are asking for is not protection from catastrophic illness so much as for someone else to pay their bills for common illnesses or routine care. Besides that, it has the same moral hazards.

Again you seem distant from reality. The Houston Chronicle Business columnist has been running a series of posts about the issue which are very informative and not so devisive. I think “most” people are worried about catasrophic costs. As it is, you can do everything right and still get wiped out, often, for minor snags in policies, intended to maximize profit. The doctors in this article see it as both a medicare and insurance problem. I find it interesting that everyone who is part of the problem points their fingers elsewhere.

As to behavior causing health issues, one could also include obsessive and aquisitive behaviors causing stress, thus highly successful people often have greater problems with both heart disease, and strokes. Should we penalize them?

We were talking about the bottom 20% in another thread. I wanted to have you listen to this counter intuitive talk on motivation.

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

Posted by: gergle at September 14, 2009 4:43 AM
Comment #288053

Jon
You have a point. A couple of examples to prove it SS and Medicare. Both programs met with severe Rep opposition on introduction and both programs have become the political 3rd rail. The Reps still do take shots at them, like Bushco,s back door attack on SS and the Rep insertion of the unfunded drug benefit poison pill, but they cannot come right out and say what they are thinking without severe political cost.
Another reason they are so adament is that the medical/insurance conglomerates are a very powerful special interest with lots of money. If the Reps cannot protect them then the Reps will clearly no longer have anything left to sell.They will be out of business. Good thing IMO. Maybe they can finally get back to the business of doing what is best for America instead of what is best for their corporate owners.

Posted by: bills at September 14, 2009 8:07 AM
Comment #288054

bluebuss

“royal flush - it is difficult to wean ppl off the freebies - like the wealthy tax breaks.”

not a very accurate analogy IMO. in order to beleieve that tax cuts are freebees, you have to first believe the money one earns belongs to the gov’t, and not the person who earned it.

Posted by: dbs at September 14, 2009 8:22 AM
Comment #288055

Christine,
The problem with blaming certain lifestyles for costing the system more money is that any and all human activity can be spun to show that Life Choices (all) and Heritage problems drive up cost. However, they leave out the fact that much of the Healthcare costs are created by those patients that abuse the system and the never ending need to do more and more research.

In fact, I do believe if Medical R&D was funded by another source (preffered lomg term Community Bonds & Trust Funds) much of the savings needed to ensure every American could afford a Health Insurance Policy. Since, IMHO teaching the difference between Health Care and Medical Care is as easy as explaining to the Children of the 21st Century that a “Cut” is a Health problem that sometimes requires a Medical Follow Up.

To bad many Baby Boomers and Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders failed to understand that 40 years ago. For why we are talking about Healthcare Reform, I wonder how many here and in America relate it to the Warehousing of Parents and Grandparents of the 20th Century. Compared to those citizens who can look out into the next 100 years and envision a Healthcare System that will lead the Children of the 21st Century passing onto the Children of the 22nd Centurythe Opportunity to be “Medically Self-Sufficient and Self-Insured” while still keeping the lead in Medical Procedures and Research.

For can anyone generate me a list of what constitutes A Basic Individual Health Care Plan? Than, so “We the People” can ED-U-CATE Washington come up with a good Alpha-Bit Soup Slogan. Especially, if one would take that approach to paying for the needed Healthcare Reform does become a number. Does it not?

And while not meaning to sound cruel, but knowing that no Civilized American would every say that they Women can pay for their own research and specialized medicine. I do believe that My Brothers and Sisters of the 70’s as well as Their Children need to be explained why The Elders and Powers-that-Be of the 70’s combined Health Care and Medical Care into the present Healthcare System. For why 911 Call Centers, Ambulances, and EMTs currently seem to be working ok, I do believe that with the growing expenses of R&D compared to Medical Prevention a Better System can be designed and inplimented. Especially with such technology as remote screening and video up-link.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 14, 2009 8:34 AM
Comment #288056

jon

“For a while it eluded me. Why were the right so adamantly against healthcare reform?”

it eluded you because they aren’t against heathcare reform, just the liberal attempt to have the gov’t take over the delivery of heathcare. keep spinning though, maybe you’ll actually get someone to believe you.

“once the populace begins to see healthcare as a right and not a privilege, who will ever try and take it away? It would be the equivalent of abolishing the second amendment, or even the first.”

a more accurate statement would be, like taking away medicare, or medicaid. there is no amendment to the const. that declares health insurance as an inalienable right.

“It doesn’t matter how rough and ready the bill is, all that matters is that in three years, when 50 million uninsured Americans are presented with the Republican option of removing that access, they will say no.”

rough is an understatement the bill is unworkable. it needs to be re written from scratch. the truth is the actual number of uninsured that want coverage and cant get it is more like 13 million, but that doesn’t sound as good in the liberal arguement, so just keep throwing out that tired old statement. never mind no one believes it anymore.

Posted by: dbs at September 14, 2009 8:39 AM
Comment #288091

Gergle

If you can identify an actuarial increase in risk for a particular pool, charge more. I don’t care where it comes from. If you or I are engaging in some risky behavior that we are unaware of, it would be nice if someone pointed it out and gave us the option of quitting and getting a better insurance rate.

Re catastrophic care, it would be easy to do that. It would not cost that much for a private policy with a high deductible, perhaps a couple thousand dollars. Most people don’t want the high deductable, because they are really seeking someone to pay for routine costs. For example, paying for medicine is expensive but unlikely to be “catastrophic.”

It is not necessarily bad to shift the cost for routine expenses, but it is not insurance. You can only have insurance if you spread risk. If something becomes common enough that almost everybody needs it, you cannot spread risk. That is why buying dental “insurance” costs about the same as just paying for it outright.

Re the TED – I learned that in organizational behavior class more than a quarter century ago. I believe I have tried to explain something like this to you before. Rich people don’t work strictly for money. Money is what they call a hygiene factor. If you don’t get enough money, you feel like a chump, but once you have enough you work for other self actualizing factors.

I no longer work FOR money, but if you stopped paying me I would feel like a chump and stop working. Human motivation is complex, as you point out.

With behaviors that lead to health outcomes (or not), we have something very much like a hygiene factor. I think few people would lose weight just to pay less on insurance. But the savings becomes a motivator in the sense of playing a game. It also serves to stigmatize bad behavior and create more peer pressure. It is not the only solution, but it is part of a solution.

I own a hybrid car that has a mileage meter. I can afford to buy gas, so the price is not very important to me. I couldn’t tell you how much it costs to fill the car up. I don’t pay attention at the pump, but I drive much more economically now than I used to because of that meter. I can see graphically how fast acceleration costs me mileage and how taking my foot off the gas in traffic helps not waste energy in breaking.

So yes, thanks for the idea that not every motivation is money. Maybe you can recall that when you talk about greedy rich folks.

I would also point out, however, that money is more a motivator for poorer people, since they are more likely to be interesting in it. When I was poor, I thought about money a lot more than I do now, since I didn’t have as much. The lowest 20% is the least successful part of the population, as whole, and probably the most in need of external motivators.

Henry

See above re lifestyles. Everybody has some bad habits. Some people have a lot more than others. t is hard to keep repairing a body when the owner mistreats it so. There was an enormous woman in my office called Pearl. She was so fat that he ankles cracked. She had to have them repaired twice in the three years we worked together. She was very nice and generous, always brought in lots of cakes and candy to try to draw others into her horrible lifestyle. It just was not worth it to keep on fixing her up. Buy her a power scooter and be done with it.

It is much harder to decide how to fund research than you think. There is significant disagreement about which diseases are most important. Compared to heart disease and strokes, AIDS is not very deadly. Yet AIDS gets much bigger bucks per person. We tend to fund diseases that are easy to see and/or hit celebrities or powerful groups.

Medical R&D, BTW, is great. But it is also a reason it costs more for health care. Our standard of care has risen enormously since the 1970s. The cancer that killed my mother in 1972 is now easily detected and cured, but it costs money. We can save lives and save health in ways we could not. We don’t want to go back to the recent old days. But we need to figure out how to pay.

Posted by: Christine at September 14, 2009 10:55 PM
Comment #288095

Christine,

I no longer work FOR money, but if you stopped paying me I would feel like a chump and stop working. Human motivation is complex, as you point out.

Yes, Human motivation is complex. Some people think only poor people think about money, then they demonstrate they are all about money.

If you aren’t working for money, it doesn’t affect what you do. If you are, it does. Regardless of how you spin it.

Posted by: gergle at September 15, 2009 12:08 AM
Comment #288096

Christine,
Why I can understand that some people have a loy of so-called bad habits, as one who can eat cakes and cookies all day lomg and not gain a pound, but easily [put on weight eating so-called balance meals I do believe a lot more research needs to be done on why some people can smoke and never get cancer or other medical problems and some people live a so-called Pure Lifestyle and die from the same problems.

And why I agree that Medical R&D is very important to discovering the answers to our health problems and raising the standard of care. Also losing my mother in 1968 to cancer, I would propose that a certain percentage of every persons’ healthcare premiums be put into a National Medical R&D Trust Fund that would make low interest loans available once a Medical Theroy has been shown to work. Since finding the proper combination of drugs is expensive and Charity can provide the grants for those experiments that to the averge citizen makes no sense at all.

For my favorite study in all this mess was the one that proved drinking 5 gallons of milk a day is bad for you. Eliminate those types of studies or have them paid for by private money IMHO would cut costs in Healthcare and not harm our standard of health and medical care. Yet, to be fair I do believe such things like cancer needs all the money it can use since what was once thought an individual problem has been discovered to be several problems still cloaked in darkness.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2009 12:14 AM
Comment #288413

The cheapest way to take care of health care is for everyone to be covered, and for it to be single payer — period
There are successful models out there that PROVE that it works, provides GOOD QUALITY healthcare, and is cheaper than what we are spending now for this BS.
I have great insurance, but — they force me to phone some idiot phone operator to “coordinate my care” when I go to a specialist. There is no review to determine medical necessity, there is no approval process — only having to call them, check in and get a number so that they will pay at the “in-network” rate to a Dr. that is already determined to be “in-network” — if I do not call, they will pay the “in-network” Dr at out of network rates and stick me with the difference —
Gee — that sure is an expense (operator banks, computers and computer systems, — phone systems, office space, etc) for NO HEALTH BENEFIT —

The right is also concerned about “their tax dollars subsidizing the “free-loaders” afraid that they will be paying for someone else’s visit to the Dr.
No, — they would prefer to force “personal responsiblity” — even if it ends up costing THEM MORE — That’s right — you are ALREADY paying for those “deadbeats” — when they are forced to go to the emergency room, and end up staying in the hospital for WEEKS on YOUR DIME (DOLLARS???) because you are TOO SELFISH to spring for $10 worth of health care at the appropriate time.
HEAVEN FORBID THAT SOMEONE ELSE MIGHT BENEFIT FROM YOUR TAX DOLLARS — GOLLY GEE WHIZ I AM SURE YOU DON’T BENEFIT ONE IOTA FROM OUR TAX DOLLARS???
DRIVE ON AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY????
DO YOU RENT AND HAVE KIDS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS??
GO TO THE LIBRARY
LIVE IN A STATE THAT RECEIVES MORE IN TAX DOLLARS THAN THEY SEND TO WASH DC (LISTENING ALASKA, TEXAS, AND A FEW OTHER RED STATES THAT TURN DOWN THAT AWFUL STIMULUS MONEY)

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO SPEND LESS TAX DOLLARS, OR HAVE PREMIUMS GO DOWN, COVER EVERYONE.

CURRENTLY MY EMPLOYER HAS TO PAY LARGE PREMIUMS FOR EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE — WHY THEY ARE NOT BEHIND HANDING THAT EXPENSE OVER TO THE GOVT IS BEYOND ME — THEY KEEP COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW IT MAKES THEM LESS COMPETITIVE WITH GLOBAL COMPANIES (WHERE THE COUNTRIES DO PROVIDE UNIVERSAL COVERAGE) BUT WHEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO NOT HAVE TO PAY THE PREMIUMS — THEY RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!!
IS EVERYONE ON THE RIGHT, AND IN BUSINESS, TOTALLY NUTS????
YOU COULD TAKE ALL THE MONEY CURRENTLY BEING PAID INTO PREMIUMS, COVER EVERYONE IN THE US AND STILL HAVE MONEY LEFT OVER — IF IT WAS USED TO FUND A MEDICARE FOR ALL.
THAT MONEY IS ALREADY BEING SPENT — BUT STUPIDLY AND INEFFICIENTLY (IN THE INEFFICIENT PRIVATE SECTOR WHERE WE GET TO FUND BILLION DOLLAR SALARIES, PRIVATE JETS AND YACHTS — GEE I FEEL HEALTHIER ALREADY)
BUT NOOOOOO LETS BE STUPID AND STAND ON SOME STUPID PRINCIPAL OF WHAT I AM NOT EXACTLY SURE.
CONTINUE TO PAY THRU THE NOSE, FUND EXTRAVAGENT LIFESTYLES FOR SCUMBAGS — AND GET HOSED WHEN WE NEED HEALTHCARE.

NO ONE SHOULD GO BANKRUPT JUST TO GET ACCESS TO THE CURE FOR THEIR DISEASE — TO BE HEALTHY AND BE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO BE A PRODUCTIVE CITIZEN

LOOK AT THE COST
REFUSE TO PAY FOR BASIC HEALTHCARE (VISITS TO DR, ETC) THE PERSON OR ONE OF HIS FAMILY GETS SOMETHING THAT IF TREATED EARLY WOULD NOT BE CATASTROPHIC, BUT ALLOWED TO GO ON, AND IT DOES
(FOR WANT OF A SHOE THE HORSE IS LOST ETC — UNTIL THE COUNTRY IS LOST — REMEMBER THAT?)
SO NOW THE PERSON LOSES HIS JOB (TOO SICK TO WORK) THEY LOSE THEIR SAVINGS — GO OUT ON THE STREET, NEED GOV’T INTERVENTION IN SOME FORM TO HELP THEM OUT — THE EMPLOYER LOSES A SKILLED EMPLOYEE — HAS TO HIRE AND RETRAIN —
THOSE EMPLOYEES END UP SPENDING MORE TIME THAN NECESSARY OFF THE JOB DUE TO ILLNESS (CANNOT GET TO THE DR TO TREAT EARLY) AND ON AND ON —
BY GOSH WE’LL SURE SHOW THEM THEY CAN’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US

EVER HEAR OF CUTTING OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE????

UNBELIEVABLY STUPID — BUT THERE YOU HAVE IT
YOUR CHOICE!

Posted by: Russ at September 21, 2009 9:12 PM
Comment #288444

Why I oppose the Government Option

1) The number of Uninsured are extremely inflated by the administration to try and sell another entitlement program.

According to the Census Bureau “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States:2008” report released in Sept 2009.

Total Uninsured = 46,340,000

Between ages 18-24 = 8,200,00 (just entering work force or choose not to purchase insurance)
The age of 65 and over = 646,000 (qualify for Medicare but don’t participate)
Non-Citizens = 9,511,000
Income of $50,000 and over = 17,759,000 (can afford to purchase insurance but don’t)

The report also states;

“Research shows health insurance coverage is underreported in the CPS ASEC for a variety of reasons”

“the CPS ASEC’s estimate of the number of people without health insurance more closely approximates the number of people who are uninsured at a specific point in time during the year than the number of people uninsured for the entire year.”

2) The so called penalties for employers who do not provide insurance are not there to encourage employers to provide insurance. They are designed to drive people into the Government Option and grow the entitlement. It they were designed to be an incentive for the employers the penalty would be greater than the cost of providing insurance. Instead with the Senate plan for instance the penalty is $800 per employee per year. Yearly premiums and administrative costs paid by an employer make the penalty chump change. So, employers will gladly pay the penalty all the way to the bank.

3) There is no way that private insurance companies can compete with a non-profit government entity. Even if they sell the exact same package and their costs are exactly the same they start out around 15% behind the government because of the need to make a profit. Now if by some chance they find a way to compete the government makes the rules so they will change them to protect their non-profit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 2,300,000 people employed in the insurance industry in 2006. Say goodbye to a major portion of those jobs.

4) The Govenment Option would in short order give the Federal Government control of 17% to 20% of the US economy. After their dismal fiscal track records with Medicare, Medicade, Social Security, AMTRAC and the USPS why on God’s Green Earth would anyone in their right mind want to put our health care and 1/5 of the economy in their control?

5) The provisions of the current plans are not projected to go into effect until 2013. So why the big hurry to shove this plan down our collective throats? Is it because the administration knows that as the populace as a whole is given the opportunity to dig into the specifics of what is being proposed they will become more and more opposed to the plan? I think we have already seen the answer to that question.

6) According to a large study published in The “Lancet Oncology” In the international comparison, the researchers saw the highest survival rates for breast and prostate cancer in the USA. For all cancers, Europe had a much lower survival than the US. Survival for prostate cancer in the US is 91.9% compared to 57.1% in Europe - a 34% difference. The difference for breast cancer survival, however, is 10%.

The results of a study appearing in the Sept. 21 issue of “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association” “The five-year death rate was 19.6% among U.S. patients and 21.4 percent among Canadian patients,” says researcher Padma Kaul, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, in a news release. “After adjusting for differences in patient characteristics, we found that Canadian patients’ risk for dying was 17% higher compared to U.S. patients.”

Better survival rates for Cancers and Heart Attacks than the vaunted Single Payer Systems. Why is that? Maybe as stated in the “Circulation” study - “Researchers say heart attack patients in the U.S. are more likely to be treated aggressively with surgical procedures to repair clogged or damaged arteries, such as angioplasty or bypass surgery, than more conservative treatment with clot-busting drugs alone.

The study shows that the conservative pattern of care in Canada might be having a negative effect on mortality rates from heart disease in that country.”

We have the best Health Care system in the world. The technology, drugs, research, and education are centered in the US. Lets tweek things to insure the 10 million or so who want health insurance and can’t afford it are covered through tax encentives or grants and that those with pre-existing conditions will be covered. We have no need to go through major overhaul that is being proposed by the administration.

Posted by: Kirk at September 23, 2009 9:00 PM
Comment #288445

In point 6) above the study referenced in “Circulation” was for Heart Attack survival rates. I had failed to include that info and just wanted to clarify.

Posted by: Kirk at September 23, 2009 9:08 PM
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