Democrats & Liberals Archives

Healthcare Reform By The Numbers.

According to the CBO:
Bill will cost 940 Billion. Not a dollar of that is projected, though, to add to the deficit.
It will save 130 Billion over the next ten years. A projection of the ten years after that indicates a savings of 1.2 Trillion, though such long term predictions are more uncertain.
It will, according to the Report, extend the solvency of Medicare by nine additional years.

It will also close the so-called "donut hole", and extend coverage to 31 millions Americans.

So, what do we have to lose by not passing healthcare reform?

Well, starting from the bottom of that list, Seniors stand to lose the money they would have to pay once they reached the limit on their coverage.

Medicare stands to lose nearly a decade worth of solvency.

America's budget may go further into deficit about 1.33 trillion dollars, or 66.5 billion dollars a year.

And, according to the CBO's projections, nobody stands to gain a single dollar worth of deficit reduction by denying 31 million Americans healthcare coverage.

Is it worth it? Republicans added on additional costs to Medicare of their own free will, earlier in the last decade. They reduced the lifespan of Medicare's solvency, increased the Deficit. They failed to cover millions, and will fail to cover millions more. They can say that it make cause huge amounts of harm to people, but folks, do they have any hard data to prove this, or is this just a partisan point they make because they have an ideological beef against the policy?

We cannot be guided merely by the fear and loathing one party has for running a policy a certain way. Results are important, more important than the politics that are supposed to be means to their end.

Results matter more than belief. Republicans believed plenty was working over the last few decades that didn't, and derided plenty that worked. They heckled the woman whose votes passed the Clinton Budget, but Clinton's budget led the way to our country regaining its balanced budget.

They'll heckle healthcare, and say Democrats will lead us to ruin, but the truth is, no Democrat in their right mind wants healthcare reform to fail with this bill, or with further legislation we do to correct the inevitable parts of the bill that don't work. We will take responsibility for our mistakes and fix them. Republicans will make huge mistakes, balooning deficits, and then blame Democrats for them when they take control.

Ultimately, America wants results. Democrats want results, and so should you out there.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2010 11:56 AM
Comments
Comment #297510

“biggest deficit reduction measure in 25 years”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2010 12:26 PM
Comment #297513

Provided for anybody who wishes to see the bill.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2010 2:20 PM
Comment #297514

Reconciliation bill that is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2010 2:23 PM
Comment #297516

I thought the rightists said we weren’t going to see the text of the bill until it passed?

It’s not the first time their crystal ball has failed.

In any case, thank you Stephen for the links and information.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 18, 2010 3:16 PM
Comment #297523

bills-
It’s preliminary, but it’s much better than the Republican’s score from the CBO on the drug benefit: 500+billion dollars a year.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2010 4:46 PM
Comment #297527

Okay here’s the story, and it comes with a correction: The number of 540 billion is the number over ten years.[There’s one correction.] (that’s an average of 54 Billion a year.)

The other correction: It didn’t come from the CBO, who estimated something like 395 billion over ten years. It came from the chief actuary for the DoHHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In fairness, the CBO’s projection, as the author of that article would say, and his projection, were within the range of uncertainty of each other’s projections.

However, the issue is, the Medicare Drug Benefit was supposed to come in under 400 billion over ten years, and this report was asked for by Congress, and denied by this Actuary’s superior.

By contrast, the estimates for Obama’s healthcare plans have been open to scrutiny. No word yet has come in of officials told to shut up.

Additionally, one reason the CBO can give this a better score is simply that the Republicans never included any funding in their bill for the costs they would raise for government.

The Democrats are willing to pay for what they spend.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2010 5:57 PM
Comment #297530

There’s those who are willing to support and pay for the improvement of life in America, and those who resent the hell out of it. They break left and right, respectively. That’s the nub and rub of all the debate over this HC reform effort. The details are just talking points for one perspective or the other.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2010 7:21 PM
Comment #297544

David,
Is there somewhere in History that speaks of the Relationship between an Infromed Patient and a Doctor of Medicine?

For why none come readily to mind given My Limited Education; nevertheless, I do remember the Public Debates about Cod Liver Oil and other Home Remedies thought to be able to care of the Ills where the Doctors of Medicine fell short.

And though I can’t prove that to be the case for the divide over an Americans Healthcare, given the Gap between those Citizens who require Golden Healthcare Policies and the Informed Citizen I do believe Americas’ Labor and Management has some work in front of them handling the New Healthcare System of Commerce and Trade.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 19, 2010 12:09 AM
Comment #297545

Henry,

Keith Obermann did a marvelous piece on HC this evening on MSNBC. He cut to the chase. Health care is about life, and dying. Those opposing health care reform would rather people die and suffer rather than underwrite their life and relief from suffering through taxes. Those same persons however, have a whole host of government spending programs they endorse for their own or other’s benefit, ranging from funding for religious projects to disaster relief to security. It’s just the idea of paying taxes so others can live, that gives them such heartburn.

Some are even so myopically incorrect in their view of the world as to think everyone receiving government benefits for health care is a loafer or lacked the will to save their resources for the time they will need health care.

Health care is about life and dying. With access to it, people live longer and healthier lives, and more productive as well. Without access to health care, the person’s entire psychological, spiritual, and physical being experiences trauma at a time of injury or illness, exacerbating their injury or illness.

The irony is that a vast number of those who oppose government sponsored health care for those who can’t otherwise access it, call themselves pro-life. In reality, they are anti-life on this issue, preferring people die rather than increase their taxes. The other irony is, their own health care costs will be elevated by those without insurance relying upon emergency services when illness or injury befalls them. They refuse to acknowledge the import of that fact, however.

I have personally experienced incompetence and greed among health care professionals to my detriment or that of persons I knew. The only guide for the relationship between patient and health care provider I know of pre-dating laws, was the Hippocratic Oath, which was more than just do no harm. There have been several versions over the centuries, but the modern version reads:

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 19, 2010 12:38 AM
Comment #297547

Because of accounting ‘gimmicks,’ the Education Loan add-on to the HCB adds approximately $80B of savings to the $138B number that the CBO estimates.

In other words, it was added on at the last minute to appease those dems who were ‘on the fence’ about voting ‘Yes’ for the bill’s passage.

Furthermore, there is NO forecast on the planet that can accurately predict budget savings past 10 years, especially something as complex as the HCR bill. All of the fiscal, monetary, economic and social assumptions about future budgetary concerns is problematic at best. It is a Chimera.

I can more easily predict who will win the World Series in 2025 than what ‘real’ savings will be realized in the so-called ‘second 10 years.’

In fact, this bill is so big and so weak that I would rather pull the band-aid off completely and insert either the ‘Public Option’ or ‘Single-Payer option in forthwith!

Finally, God help Olbermann - I’m sorry his father passed; however, to use his personal story to gain some kind of political advantage, based solely on emotion, is ridiculous. In fact, the irony about all of the left-wing media’s uses of sick-people-as-anecdotes-to-sell-healthcare, doesn’t even comport with reality. Natoma Canfield, et al are not even eligible to take advantage of the main tenent of the bill until 2014! Likewise, the first 4 years of the bill brings basically negligable benefits (taxes). Not until 2014 does the most beneficial savings occur.

Anyone can create a budget savings of $130B in the first 10 years when there’s only 6 years of ‘real’ benefits. Moreover, $130B in 10 years is a pittance. Avg. is about $13B per/year - Yipee!

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at March 19, 2010 1:34 AM
Comment #297549

Not able to access full coverage until 2014? Under the Republican plan she wouldn’t have access EVER…what am I missing here?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 19, 2010 6:56 AM
Comment #297551

David R. Remer seems to have missed a third irony in the Health Care reform debate: The same people who think that killing an unborn child falls under the idea of controlling one’s own body feel that it is a good idea to increase government involvement in our personal health care decisions.

Posted by: Jim Buckley at March 19, 2010 7:08 AM
Comment #297555

Kevin,

The 13 billion savings per year may not be huge, but it does show the program will not add to the deficit or debt, and will actually benefit by both improving health care for more people and saving a little money…can you tell us what your REAL complaint is? Are you upset because Republicans are being shown up AGAIN?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 19, 2010 8:56 AM
Comment #297556

And talk about ‘Health Care by the Numbers,’ one could probably count on one finger the times President Obama actually used the power of the Executive Branch to sway congressional votes. People like Blanche Lincoln and other important Dems never had any communication from Obama during this tumultuous debate.

Not since a certain peanut farmer was in the Oval Office have we seen such weak leadership. Obama comes off exactly as he’s shown during the campaign - an ineffectual elitist. He’s afraid to ‘get his hands dirty’ by not cajoling and compromising with his former colleagues. I mean, he could of at least played the ‘Good Cop’ to Rahm Emanuel’s ‘Bad Cop’ and twisted many an arm over the last 12 months. Instead, Obama waited until the 11th hour of the 11th hour to twist arms and offer some of perks of the Oval Office - leverage.

The fact that he had to postpone for a second time an important international trip, only shows that he could not handle Pelosi and Reid over the last 14 months. The worst result from all of this dithering is the fact that all of the oxygen has been sucked away from focusing on other pressing items like jobs, the economy, financial regulatory reform, Middle-East relations, immigration and national security, just to name a few.

Those who support the so-called ‘Obamacare’ fail to realize that Republicans, doctors, and the people want reform too. They just don’t want another unpaid-for entitlement program in the midst of one of the largest run-ups of debt in our nation’s history.

The Dems will most likely get the necessary votes to pass the health care legislation on Sunday. And thus, they will claim victory. Sadly, it will only result in the worst kind of victories - a Pyrrhic Victory.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at March 19, 2010 8:58 AM
Comment #297560

David,
Why I doubt if you could get many over the age of 50 to give up their Golden Healthcare Policy, but the biggest irony IMHO is the fact that I have never met an American who is willing to pay me thousands of dollars a year just to say no when they want me to pay a Health Bill.

Jim Buckley,
Why I maybe always ready to argue with a Doctor of Medicine over a Health Problem. Having needed their Professional Services over the years, I want Americas’ Establishment and Institutions to set the Principles and Standards of people who think they can be a Learned Doctor of Medicine.

Kevin L. Lagola,
Care to show us a Budget that can save more than $130 Billion and still ensure Healthcare Coverage for All Americans?

Because why 30 million maybe assed to the ranks of The Insured, Congress and more important IMHO the Local and State Governments must deal with the Fall Out of any Plan of Reform.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 19, 2010 9:44 AM
Comment #297562

Henry Schlatman

“Care to show us a Budget that can save more than $130 Billion and still ensure Healthcare Coverage for All Americans?”

If you take time to explore the link to the CBO report you will get an answer to your question.
The bill has a number of money saving methods. Among them is a board to compare the efficacy of treatment options. What works best. What doesn,t work at all. The exchanges should also help by increasing competition. Keeping people out of emergency rooms with preventive care will help.Also remember that many among the currently uninsured are low risk. Thats why we need them in the pool.

tim
Social Security is not broke. With no changes they will be solvent until 2043,at which point they will be able to pay 70% of benefits. Not good but not broke. That is a myth perpetrated by Wall Street ghouls licking their chops over all that money.
The Postal Service is struggling with competition from new technologies like email,fax,etc. Even so they move one hell of a lot of mail reliably every day. Our Postal Systems is one of the best in the world.
The soon to pass HC bill is estimated to extend medicare solvency for nine years. Look at the CBO report.
The trillion dollars confiscated from us for the “poor” is a made up number. Source it.

Posted by: bills at March 19, 2010 10:15 AM
Comment #297563

Jim Buckly
Nowhere in the HC bill is there an infringement on your personal choices. You can keep the same carrier,same doctor,same coverage if it meets minimum standards. If you are one of those that have chosen not to maintain coverage for any number of reasons,sorry pal,you will have to get coverage. If you want to see that as a personal infringment,too bad. Sooner or later you WILL need medical care and most of the rest of us figure its a personal infringment on us to have to pay for your care through higher hospital bills and taxes.

Posted by: bills at March 19, 2010 10:40 AM
Comment #297569

Marysdude -

Read Rep. Paul Ryan’s HCR budget proposal:

http://tinyurl.com/yfhw5v6

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at March 19, 2010 4:05 PM
Comment #297570


There is no personal infringement. OK, there is a personal infringement. Tough.

Not only are you being forced to by HC coverage, you are being forced to buy it from profiteers, while Obama is characterizing this as the people vs the insurers. It is perfectly legal for politicians to lie to the people. I know, it is just a technical lie, not a philosophical one.


“There’s those who are willing to support and pay for the improvement of life in America, and those who resent the hell out of it. They break left and right respectively.”

So Republican, either you are for us or against us, a patriot or not. And, somewhat of a misrepresentation of the facts as well.

The break is free market corporate capitalism rules VS the government and the corporations are a partnership, a corpocracy VS get the corporations and their lawyers out of our government and stop letting them control legislation.

Until we stop letting the corporations determine our destiny as a nation and until we engage the American people on their lifestyles, there will be no meaningful reductions in the cost of Health Care.

Most Democrats, constituents and politicians alike, admit that this is not really that good of a cost savings solution but, the politicians of both parties were unwilling to engage the people with anything but rhetorical lies. They were unwilling to give the people a fair and honest debate on this subject and unwilling to let the people decide.

Heaven forbid the people having a say in their governance other than on election day.

Posted by: jlw at March 19, 2010 4:31 PM
Comment #297572

Kevin,

I have read the Ryan Health care proposal. Good luck with that! I only wish that Republicans would publicize it more. It would drive the public to the Democratic plan in a heartbeat. Taxing employees for the value of their employer health care plan is a non-starter. Do you really think that the American public would embrace a plan expressly designed to destroy the employer based insurance system that 61% of the non-elderly rely upon for their families? Do you really think that they would like fending for themselves in the individual private insurance market? The proposed tax credit is less than half what group plans cost.

But, you say, the individual private insurance market will be more competitive by allowing “across state” insurance sale. It will drive the price of coverage down. By allowing insurance companies to domicile in a state with little regulation, it can offer a wider range of plans without requirements for minimal coverages, no community ratings to spread costs, etc. That will be great for the young and health. But not so great for those older workers and those with pre-existing conditions. They will be priced out of the insurance market. So, recognizing that, Ryan proposes that states establish high risk pools to provide, at a higher cost, subsidized insurance for those priced out of the individual market. Great, the insurance companies get to insure the young and healthy and the state the sick and older.


Posted by: Rich at March 19, 2010 7:02 PM
Comment #297576

It doesn’t matter about the CBO numbers whatever one’s opinion of them is.

The Democratic leadership has not choice but to do everything humanly possible to pass this legislation. To not do so would be suicide with their base.

I can’t imagine what it would be like if the leadership held up their hands and said, we don’t have the votes without voting. Even voting by slight of hand in a uncontitutional way would be preferable. Then if the Supreme Court overturned the vote, they could blame it on the right wing court.

There are no options for the Democrats. They must force a vote no matter what they believe about is bill.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 19, 2010 8:18 PM
Comment #297581

Craig Holmes-
Let’s drop the stock partisanship here.

The move the Democrats are using basically says: with these revisions to the Senate bill, we pass the Senate Bill.

Democrats in the House said for ages: We’ll only pass the Senate bill if certain revisions are made. That was the subject of all the negotiations. So what are the Democrats going to do? Pass the Senate revisions, and then deem that it passes the bill it revises.

The Democrats are only doing what they said they would do. If that is being sneaky, I would hate to see their way of doing things bloody obvious.

The Democrats really don’t have a choice. They are forced to pass legislation compromised by the need to get every Senator on board, or not pass anything at all.

Democrats were not elected to sit still, but to set things right. The Republicans proved unwilling to do that, whether they stood by their actions on principle or on account of the political cost of admitting they were wrong.

This Senate Blockade to me is just more deferral of the reckoning, and the worst part of it is, if they succeed, they’re radicalizing their base further, making it even more difficult to actually endure that reckoning without causing further pain to the party. They keep painting themselves into a corner, and instead of admitting that, they get on their tiptoes, paint more into that corner, and then claim they did that on purpose.

Republicans are basically working off of hatred of liberals, horror at their success, and fear at their policies. How long can that be sustained before something else goes wrong, and the party suffers for it?

frank-
You guys keep saying it will destroy us. But what your party’s actions are doing is forcing the Democrats to act with the same kind of discipline they’ve had trouble developing.

Sooner or later, you’re say that kind of doomsaying to some Democrat, and they’re just going to smile, and walk past laughing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 19, 2010 10:15 PM
Comment #297582


Craig, many of the Democratic Party’s base doesn’t like this bill. But, most of them agree that health care legislation must be passed. Even though the Congress has avoided many of the hard choices, increased taxes and or decreased benefits, and relies more on cutting waste, fraud and abuse, it is a start. Most Americans agree that we must make a start at least.

As to compromising with the Republican party, several Republican ideas have been incorporated into this legislation and no takers. That implies that despite the rhetoric, Republicans are not interested in compromises.

IMO, the Democrats should not have even made an attempt to compromise with Republicans. Eight years of total fiscal irresponsibility by a Republican Administration and a Republican Congress should disqualify your party from participation in the process.

Posted by: jlw at March 19, 2010 10:44 PM
Comment #297585

Stephen -

Here’s a very insightful article from the Washington Post on the CBO’s budget projections for HCR:

http://tinyurl.com/ydv9xyk

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at March 20, 2010 2:34 AM
Comment #297588

Kevin,

A quote from your source:

>Like the Supreme Court, it can be said of the CBO that it is not final because it is infallible; it is infallible because it is final. Its score is the one that counts. Unlike the Supreme Court, however, the accuracy of the CBO’s judgments is subject to testing over time. It’s in the nature of the CBO’s work that its assessments are projections — informed projections made by incredibly smart people working with sophisticated economic models, but projections nonetheless.

The CBO is the most comprehensive analysis we can use, and the least partisan. You can argue it, find fault with it and sneeze on it for all I care, but in the end, Republicans and Democrats, in their own turn use the CBO to back their claims. And they do so because it is considered the most accurate available. Future projections and predictions are just what the label says…projections and predictions…something to hang your hat on. If you are willing to wait for absolute proofs, where does progress enter the picture?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 20, 2010 8:43 AM
Comment #297589

PS:

The lady herself is not infallible, re her opinion on the difference between the Supremes and the CBO. If she doesn’t think the SC’s findings on the Citizen’s United v. FEC aren’t going to reverberate until it has to be rescinded, she has another think coming.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 20, 2010 8:54 AM
Comment #297591

Kevin L. Lagola-
And here’s Matthew Yglesias, a liberal blogger’s take on that:

Look, I’d certainly say that forecasts of the future legislative environment should be taken with a grain of salt. But Marcus adds up several grains worth of doubts and then says the CBO’s assumption that Congress will do what it promises deserves a full tablespoon of salt. It’s of course true that this is how the CBO works, but disparaging its scores on these grounds is a universal solvent that would destroy any effort at policy analysis. The long-term fiscal deficit, after all, is itself a prediction about future events so the only thing Congress can possibly do to change it is to make repealable promises about what future policy will be.

Republicans jump at the chance to use CBO predictions about the deficit to Bash Obama. But those predictions are just projections. If Obama successfully lobbies for, and gets new taxes, the deficit changes. If he manages to get a new stimulus package through, and that does as well as the last one, the deficit picture both changes because of the expenditure, and because of the economic effects of the expenditure. The question, of course, would be whether the expenditure is smaller than the effect it brings.

Yglesias then uses a reductio ad absurdum argument to take the position that by her claim, it would be meaningless to worry about next years budget numbers or the next one after that, since these are just projections that are subject to change if Congress changes policy. He concludes:

And if the 111th Congress is going to care at all about long-term fiscal problems, that caring will necessarily take the form of promises about the future course of policy that will be subject to repeal by future congresses.

Policy can be changed. Bush took a policy that Clinton had worked out with the Republican Congress during his term, one which had balanced the budget, or brought it closer to balance, and he escalated the spending without raising revenues to cover it. So, any projection about what Clinton’s policies would have done over those next few years would necessarily be wrong.

But still, you got to start from something. The Republicans are trying to de-legitimize the CBO’s projections because they look too good for Democrats. They may be able to argue that they could be right, but what do they bring to the table besides faith in their beliefs to back this argument?

One thing I would say, as a person who appreciates the fallibilities of the human mind, is that nobody’s completely objective. That said, reality tends to be one thing rather than a nother, exist in one state rather than another. Approximating that, rather than suiting one’s assumptions about things purely to one’s own thoughts, is the better way to approach policy.

The CBO is not infallible. However, it is the agency tasked with making the projections, and the projections are a useful, if not totally perfect means of judging the merits of policy.

So, logically speaking, unless you want to give up on the idea of holding Democrats accountable for their budget deficit, you ought not to subscribe to a viewpoint that belittles projections of fiscal impact.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 20, 2010 9:38 AM
Comment #297614

Good News, the Democrats have decided not to worsen already dismal public opinion over the process of the health care bill.

link text

While it would have been legal and with precedent to pass the bill this way, I never saw how the Democrats could gain by following through with such a procedure. And what counts in the court of public opinion is the public’s impression of the bill’s content and the process the bill went through. By voting on the Senate Bill explicitly, the House Democrats have shown that they don’t have to bow down to the underhanded techniques used in the past.

Also, by clearing up the process waters, the Democrats can bring the debate back to the bill’s content, which has majority popular support.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 20, 2010 3:25 PM
Comment #297645

Mr. Daugherty writes; “The CBO is not infallible.”

Very true, but they are blindfolded since they can only make projections based upon what is in the bill they are scoring. The HCR bill makes promises of huge savings in Meidcare and CBO must take congress at its word and consider those promises as accomplished fact. CBO must consider the scheduled cuts in doctor and hospital Medicare fees as already being money saved. Never mind that congress has no intention of cutting these in the future. How else would one imagine getting the AMA to sign on? And, one must understand that nearly all the docs in white standing with Obama are already on the public payrole, not private practioners.

There are lies and damn lies in the HCR bill and the CBO must accept them as God’s own truth.

The great fun to come in the near future will be watching the dem/lib/socialists explain to their constituents come November why the only thing they see from HCR are their taxes increasing and services declining.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 21, 2010 2:40 PM
Comment #297646

RF said: “And, one must understand that nearly all the docs in white standing with Obama are already on the public payrole, not private practioners.”

That is lie, in itself. I have queried two private doctors we frequent and both are for HC reform that provides insurance to those who can’t now afford it, or, get it.

There are many provisions in this bill that will take effect immediately, and all of them, I am sure, will be touted by Democrats as benefits brought to Americans SOLELY by the Democrats and Independents in Congress.

The liability here for Republicans is their monumental, no holds barred effort, to deny the American people this reform, decades overdue. The cost of reform would have been far cheaper 20 years ago. And vastly more expensive 20 years from now.

One percent more Americans are for this legislation than opposed. By Nov., as Americans learn how they are benefiting from it, a larger majority will look back on Republicans as the Damned Liars on this issue. Conservatives by definition, seek to conserve the status quo and oppose change in general. The American people voted for change in 2006 and 2008, and that some of that change is at hand no thanks to Republicans.

I reject the corruption of the Democrats in Congress and within their Party, being little to no better than that in the GOP. But, I voted for change in 2008, and I am damn glad it that promise is being fulfilled. My daughter will need to remain our insurance while she attends college part time past the age of 24. This bill will benefit my daughter directly, and us, the payers of her health insurance premiums on a family plan, as opposed to 3 times the cost of her having to purchase it independently as a single adult.

I have a mild case of hypertension, genetic, and this bill will prevent an insurance company from either canceling my policy for consequent conditions resulting from hypertension going forward, and permit us to competitively shop for insurance in the future without fear of pre-existing conditions denying us choice.

This bill will begin to lower health care costs in America by removing the ER costs of 32 million American currently uninsured from being passed on to us in the form of higher care costs. It will further reduce our costs with the implementation of new Medical Information Technology which will reduce duplicative testing and diagnostics and insure less errors due to absence of medical information sharing between health care specialists and our general practitioner.

There are many items in this bill I will call for changing further in the future. But, on net, we will gain more from this bill than we will lose. And that is the most anyone can hope for with government legislation. Because ANY government legislation is going to have its opposition.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 21, 2010 4:17 PM
Comment #297648

Mr. Remer wrote; “RF said: “And, one must understand that nearly all the docs in white standing with Obama are already on the public payrole, not private practioners.”

That is lie, in itself. I have queried two private doctors we frequent and both are for HC reform that provides insurance to those who can’t now afford it, or, get it.”

Sure do wish Mr. Remer would read my comments a little closer. Were the two private docs he knows on the stage with Obama?

I find it interesting that Mr. Remer provides us with his view that 1% more Americans are for this HCR than against but he doesn’t provide any source for this statement. I guess if one is very selective in the polls they read perhaps this could be true.

Some folks just can’t look beyond today, and don’t understand that for every benefit paid there is a cost to someone. Of course if one is a lib/dem/socialist, they do believe money hangs from trees.

Perhaps Mr. Remer would like to chew on the meat in my post rather than simply call my statement a lie.

Mr. Remer wrote; “This bill will begin to lower health care costs in America by removing the ER costs of 32 million American currently uninsured from being passed on to us in the form of higher care costs.”

I wonder if he means that ER’s all across America will be closing their doors? Really…how will that work out?

The lib/dem/socialists mistakenly believe that once the HCR bill is in place the attitude of uninsured Americans will change. Suddenly, they will decide to seek out early medical preventive advise. They will all troop into doctor’s offices and get a checkup every six months. Obviously, they don’t know human nature.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 21, 2010 5:05 PM
Comment #297649

Royal Flush-
The point of the CBO scoring the bill is to score the bill. Other legislation can be treated through other scores, and the budget as a whole can be treated as a whole.

The Doc Fix is a separate matter. Conflating it with the Healthcare bill misrepresents its costs and its savings.

It’s not even a controversial matter. Your people approved it every time since the late nineties. It’s never really been out of our spending, even though the Republicans struck it from the budget. Like the Iraq War’s lack of budgetary presence, the fix on the Alternative minimum tax, and all kinds of other things, not having it on the budget hasn’t prevented it from costing us.

We’re dealing with this technicality after Healthcare reform. We’re dealing with something the Republicans were never willing to say no to, only willing to leave off the budget. The savings from this item are already counted, so Republicans getting in its way would change budget projection in no way whatsoever. The cost of this is already a regular ocurrence, so Democrats are spending no more of the taxpayer’s money than they were already spending.

You folks toss out all these canards trying to distract people, but the plain fact is, Republicans had their chance to make their mark, to participate in the shaping of healthcare reform, and they had no alternative proposals that Democrats could compromise with, and offered little more than obstruction and interference.

If Republicans are more interested in policy than politics, they are free to negotiate and deliberate with us. If all they want to do is keep their politics pure, and their hands unsullied by Democrats doing what majorities do in seeking their agenda, that’s their business.

But as years of being in the minority have taught me, obstruction is not enough. To shape policy, you must ultimately shape law, to shape law, you have to keep yourself at the table. To keep yourself at the table, you’ve got to have something to offer.

Republicans can’t offer their votes in exchange for revisions, and they can’t offer filibuster breaking, not without messing up and complicating their obstructionist agenda.

What will Republicans have to show for all their storm and stress? If you think our bill is lousy, and if you want bipartisan support, then you just wasted the last year which you could have drafted legislation in, just badmouthing our proposal. You could have made a deal, and put more Republican policy in the eventual final product. But your people were not interested in policy, but politics instead.

The Republican Party has drowned itself in its own rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 21, 2010 5:34 PM
Comment #297650

Royal Flush,

Your statement was not specific, enough. “standing with Obama” could mean literally, or, figuratively, as in standing FOR his HC Reform. I obviously took the latter as your meaning. And of course, that would be a lie. However, now that you have clarified, I can only ask that you produce EVIDENCE of your assertion that all those ‘white coats’ were employed by the government, just as you asked me to produce evidence of my poll information which follows, but, you won’t like it because the latest poll now shows even more support.

The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the public still divided on Health Reform legislation, with 46 percent of Americans backing the Reform proposals on Capitol Hill, 42 percent opposing them and 12 percent saying they aren’t sure.

RF said: “I find it interesting that Mr. Remer provides us with his view that 1% more Americans “

Not my view at all. Empirical research and data. View has nothing to do with my comment. Wish the same could be said for your comments.

Royal Flush makes the completely illogical argument against any legislation saying: “Some folks just can’t look beyond today, and don’t understand that for every benefit paid there is a cost to someone.”

By this logic, benefits paid to our military should be revoked because they cost someone something. Royal Flush, one must consider the benefits against the cost. As the polls show, the majority of Americans view the benefits outweighing the cost.

Royal Flush’s reply densely asked: “I wonder if he means that ER’s all across America will be closing their doors? Really…how will that work out? “

The cost to person’s with insurance is many times less than the cost to the uninsured for ER services. Ergo, 32 million newly insured dramatically lowers the cost on all insured’s premiums which now pick up the tab for the uninsured at many times insured costs. Won’t be closing their doors. That is illogical. The number of accidents and illnesses will not drop as a result of this HC reform. At least no in the near future.

Royal Flush again offers an opinion in contradiction to observable researched fact: “The lib/dem/socialists mistakenly believe that once the HCR bill is in place the attitude of uninsured Americans will change.”

I can’t speak for libs/dems/socialists which are not a monolithic group by any means, but, as an Independent who researches before asserting, attitudes are already changing in favor of the legislation, as I have already pointed out with reference to empirical research.

So, far, all you have provided is your minority individual opinion, and it just doesn’t quite come close to contradicting the research available. How very inconvenient for your comments.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 21, 2010 6:05 PM
Comment #297673

Well, it’s done!

Without the Public Option it has no teeth, but it is far better than the mess we’ve been dealing with, and their is now hope for a brighter future, for us, AND for our progeny.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 22, 2010 4:46 AM
Comment #297688

“Experience keeps a dear school,” Ben Franklin said, “but fools will learn in no other.” Whether liberals or conservatives are the fools in this story remains to be seen. But school will be in session soon enough.

The lib/dem/socialist have only their fingerprints on this HCR bill and will receive all the credit/blame as the provisions and consequences hidden in the bill become apparent.

I find it interesting that Washington State has just announced it is cancelling SCHIP as it has no money to fund it. Walgreens in Washington announced it will no longer accept any new Medicaid clients as they have been losing money on each Medicaid prescription filled.

This HCR bill passed in spite of the majority of polls revealing that it was not supported by a majority of Americans. The lib/dem/socialist fools in congress are celebrating today along with those Americans who look to government for their very survival as they are unwilling to care for themselves. Passing legislation to help those unable to care for themselves has already occured…so now, we must help the unwilling.

We will never see anywhere near the $500+ billion savings from Medicare as projected by congress to get a positive score from CBO. Unions will never be required to pay an added tax on their Cadillac Medical care plans as projected by congress to begin in 2018 to help get a positive score from CBO.

Folks…this is all the usual smoke and mirrors crap used by libs/dems/socialists to grease the skids to Americas downfall.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 22, 2010 1:44 PM
Comment #297697

Royal Flush-
Yes, those damn libs/dems/socialists. Always greasing the skids to Americas[sic] downfall.

Just got to wonder why. You’d have to be suicidal to want your own country to fail.

Seriously. When I read Eschaton, I read the blog of a guy who’s horrified at the collapse of the economy. When I go to Kos, I read from people who are horrified at the state of the healthcare system, the unending wars the Bush Administration never resolved.

When I go to Talking Points Memo, I read from people who are horrified at the way the Republicans have seized up the works in Congress, and how it prevents even simple financial reform to the system that just failed us catastrophically from going through.

I don’t hear much from people who want their country to collapse. Or who want an unbearable tax burden. Nor do I hear from people who want the government looking over their shoulder.

You, and others have bought into the BS that most Democrats, Liberals, and even socialists are like that, that they would truly destroy their country for some odd reason. In truth, most people just want this country governed differently, most want it governed moderately and sensibly.

See, what’s happened is that rhetoric that was once fringe in the 50’s and 60’s got turned into the war cries of the 70’s and 80’s, and then the doctrine of the 90’s and 00’s. What was once the hyperbole of the cranks, what was later borrowed for its emotional kick, has now become the absolute dogma of the right.

And how do you argue with it? How do you argue with people who are discouraged from cooperating or compromising with you because they’ve learned to fear and hate you? We’re just fellow Americans, in some cases extraordinarily similar. But because some politicians wanted a more captive audience for their campaigns of ambition or self-preservation, they’ve trapped them and their followers in a nightmare of paranoia.

The irony of what has happened is that Republicans are destroying themselves. They are allowing such truly nightmarish things to happen for the sake of this hyped-up system of fear, that the average person outside of the party is finding more to fear from what they are doing to the country in reality, than what the Democrats are projected to do in some distant, insane future.

In other words, the Republican Party has become so afraid of the Democrats, either for the sake of the loss of power, or of policy, that they no longer register the extremity of their own actions. They believe everything is justified in the expedience of the day.

Truth of the matter is, it’s the economy causing the problems in Washington State, not the spending. The problem with the Republican’s philosophy about things is that everything is just pushed to an extreme for the sake of partisan ideology. No tax increases, even if you spend a whole bunch, no tax increases, even if the budget deficits become out of control.

You insist on everybody doing things your way, insist that tax cuts poison the economy, despite the fact that one of our most substantial booms was preceded by a rise in taxes.

Taxes don’t cause prosperity to be sure, but if kept moderate, do people not just seek more money to make up for what is lost? The Republicans seem to think the American competitive spirit is a precious little hothouse flower which cannot have much asked of it without it wilting and dying. I think America can afford to pay for it’s government.

I also think Americans are capable of setting their priorities, so long as the debate is held with adult, rather than adolescent assumptions about spending and paying for things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 22, 2010 6:11 PM
Post a comment