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A major surprise, the Obama administration will allow the states to decide what treatments many...

A major surprise, the Obama administration will allow the states to decide what treatments many insurance plans must cover under the new health car law. The decision deflects a major criticism of the plan - that it imposed a rigid, bureaucrat-controlled, one-size-fits-all standard atop the entire country (substituting it with 50 bureaucrat-controlled standards?).
Comments (35)
  • This just further complicates medical care for companies with employees in many states. The differing state requirements will increase costs to the companies causing even more to exit providing plans for their employees. This is not a solution.
    17 Dec 2011, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • Yep, way to make business more difficult.


    This is where China kicks our butt. We are busy debating what insurance should cover while they are building new infrastructure.
    17 Dec 2011, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • In case you don't know, branded drugs cost a lot more in China than in the US. If you still don't believe it, call up Chinese hospitals and ask how much they charge for Avastin, Lipitor, or Viagra.


    If you don't have large amount money or good connections, be prepared to wait with hundreds other patients for your 5 minutes with a doctor. Chinese doctors hand out antibiotics really quickly.


    Diagnostics and generic treatments are however a lot cheaper in China. But they are all pay-first, get treated later. No money and you die.
    17 Dec 2011, 10:20 PM Reply Like
  • And its just for the time being. Give people some time to move on to other things and it will sneak back into the agenda probably called something like "Save the children bill."
    17 Dec 2011, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • Proving once again that Obama is a narcissistic demigod, issuing orders from the pulpit for the "common good". Who gave this person the power to even decide things like this? We did, and he will do whatever it takes to hold on to that power.
    17 Dec 2011, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • The Pelosi/Reid Democrat Congress gave Obama that power, when they crammed the horrible Obamacare bill through the Congress. We need to fire not just Obama for arrogating that power, we need to fire those in Congress who are constructing te socialist healthcare system. Every time they 'fix' the healthcare system with a 'reform' it sucks more power into the government and makes healthcare worse, further fomenting the 'healthcare crisis' of out-of-control costs and lack of consumer choice that then 'demands' another 'reform'. It's egregious that bill has not been repealed, de-funded or even fumigated ... but the worse thing is that nobody is talking about the real solution:


    End healthcare socialism, and create healthcare freedom, choice, and give direct control back to patients, providers and doctors by ending the strangulating over-regulation.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Huh? He's giving states - and insurance companies - more choices, more options to provide health insurance. How is this the act of a "narcissistic demigod"?


    A strong majority of Americans support a public option in health care, and an alternative to the present bureaucratic oligopoly that routinely denies coverage to its paid-up clients based on bogus "pre-existing conditions" and self-serving small print.
    17 Dec 2011, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • See how they do it in Europe-everyone has equal access to the full range. It's expensive but it's a heck of a lot better than Obamacare
    17 Dec 2011, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • They've figured out everything but how to pay for it....
    18 Dec 2011, 09:38 PM Reply Like
  • Read the DETAILS.


    Almost all categories of care are still mandated. Just a few token things are 'allowed' to be a the states' discretion so Obama can say he didn't take away their choices even as he does.
    17 Dec 2011, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • Will I still get my little blue pill?
    17 Dec 2011, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • now the patients will be able to game the system by choosing among 50 states.


    What a mess.


    The US should have a single-payor plan like they do in many other countries. We lived in Europe for a few years with young children. The system worked like a charm. It seemed expensive but I think ObamaCare will be much worse,because of its complexity
    17 Dec 2011, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Freedom beats 'single payer' socialism hands down. Single payer destroys healthcare innovation and puts bureaucrats in charge of healthcare decisions, sometimes with deadly results (just google "NHS kills thousands"). But it is simple.


    Obamacare is a worst-of-all-worlds solution, with all the costs, bureacracy and socialized subsidies of single-payer, while also creating a captive audience for private HMOs and putting all of us in an innovation-suffocating vise of 3rd party payer bureacrat-dictated hell. I have cynically believe that the liberal Democrats knew all along that Obamacare would be a mess, but went along because they could always promote single-payer as the 'fix' to the big crazy mess Obamacare would make.


    No dice.


    Government is the problem, not the solution. Freedom is the solution, not the problem.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • "The system worked like a charm."


    Sounds... uh... 'charming'.



    17 Dec 2011, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • Our health care system does a great deal to harm capitalism. Think how many people you know that would have gone off to start a new business but can't afford to give up their company's insurance coverage. It severely hampers upward mobility, progress and job creation.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • Absolutely. In most civilized countries,the employee receives the same coverage no matter where he works or how long he works there. In that sense it's completely portable.


    Of course the Europeans have other ways to stifle new business development,but the structure of the health care system isn't one of them.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • so you're suggesting obama provide universal healthcare so that people can leave their jobs and still have free insurance coverage without working there anymore? so that you can then criticize obama for being a socialist/communist? so make up your mind, do you want him to be a socialist or a capitalist?
    17 Dec 2011, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • people need to get their own job, make their own money, and get their own insurance. don't take it out of my taxes to start up a business and have free health care at my expense while they're waiting to become profitable.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • Give people the freedom to buy bare bones insurance without all the restrictions that govt places insurance providers, end the cartel-like restrictions on healthcare provision, and THEN we the people would have acces to affordable healthcare.


    As I said above: Government is the problem, not the solution. Freedom is the solution, not the problem.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • The problem with healthcare specifically began under LBJ with medicaid and medicare to 'help the poor and minorities'. What happened? The middle class was slowly shoved into a stifling system that now required intermediaries and insurers to act as go-betweens to redefine the state's cipher. It has grown unfathomably worse since then as now hospitals forced by the state to take on the weight of medicaid and its low terms are now forced into raising premium rates on everyone else.


    This is the old story of socialism and it never ends well.


    But it began in the States before LBJ the populist buffoon. FDR, his predecessor was much more hostile towards the Constitution just making up whatever he felt as he went along, even wanting to pack the SCOTUS to get his way. A real prick and the most arrogant wart on America's ass since the introduction of the income tax in 1913 which was never(sadly) repealed since it gave full license to big 'g' Goverment to grow like a tumor as it began to rob its own people(ie, employers) ever since, year after year, again without real weight of Constitutional merit or authority.


    Socialism kills. Every time its tried.


    This is no different. Socialism breeds starvation eventually as it is ration based. And this healthcare bill will be the fateful epitome of that in spades.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • America has had Medicare for 45 years. It's far more cost-effective and efficient than private insurance. Its overhead cost is a small fraction of what the "competitive", "free market" providers charge. Has it turned its users into socialists?


    Opponents of Obamacare talk up the myth of bureaucracy and government interference in relation to public insurance. Yet the US health insurance industry provides most bureaucratized, high-overhead, conditional coverage in the world.


    Public single-payer insurance provides excellent service at reasonable cost in every industrial country except the US. The cost savings from public insurance is a significant competitive advantage for foreign manufacturers. The rest of the world looks at the US and thinks Americans are crazy.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • And the rest of the world is going broke, especially those European countries with endless 'free'(*chuckle*) healthcare. If we relied on the 'rest of the world's' opinion to affirm our sanity, I'd say the one requiring it is certifiable seeing that their systems have been deteriorating over the last 50 years and now dissolving as we speak. Do you read the news much? Do you watch the news? Its happening right now just like the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany in 1991, except this time its Europe. I doubt they'll be able to fund their 'wonderful' programs much longer, especially as we pull our military out of their Islamic neighbors and they are forced to contend with them without using us anymore to prop up their socialism.


    The only thing real is the free market you either seem to misunderstand or trivialize. There is no other workable system apart from individual liberty or wealth creation without personal private property rights, neither of which are lauded by today's left since predatory and confiscatory taxes are the ultimate abridgment of such rights.
    17 Dec 2011, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • and that's why we have the greatest healthcare in the world. and that's why every hospital in the world has products that were invented produced by America. competition and financial reward breeds excellence. with all these HMO's nowadays less and less people want to become doctors. do you really want a C average operating on your heart? do you really want to wait 6 months to see a specialist if the hospital deems your problem not urgent? do you really think you deserve free health care if you never worked a day in your life or better yet if you're an illegal immigrant that doesn't pay taxes to support the benefits that you reap? do you think a government that allows such things to happen will remain solvent? (see California, or better yet Europe)
    17 Dec 2011, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, I do read the news. Perhaps you should read it without blinkers on.


    The fiscal problems in Europe (mostly Southern Europe, BTW - the northern countries are mostly solvent, and recovering from their recessions) are not the result of the cost of public health care. European countries, without exception, spend far lower proportions of GDP than the US on health care, which defeats your argument about cost. Everyone in these countries has access to care, mortality from almost all causes is far lower, and life expectancy is higher than in the US. These are facts.


    The greatest tragedy of US health care is the incidence of infant mortality - in many areas of the US, children die at rates comparable to poor countries in Africa, of causes that would be easily preventable with the expenditure of a fairly modest amount of money. But you, no doubt, would rather see public funds spent on tax breaks for the top 1%, earmarks for bridges in Alaska, or air bases in Saudi Arabia and Australia.


    I've certainly got nothing against the free market. But the economics of health care have nothing to do with the same forces that have driven down the cost of computer chips and cellphones. You ought to do some reading about the concept of price elasticity, and learn how it is that insurers have been able to drive up the price of coverage at more than twice the rate of inflation for decades with no effect on demand, with negative impacts on accessibility and affordability and standards of living.


    Insurers don't sell a competitive product, because of the economic nature of health insurance, and because the health insurance industry is an oligopoly in which high costs only feed higher profits. Health insurers maintain their highly profitable oligopoly by investing a chunk of their windfall profits in a huge lobbying and campaign funding operation - paid for by their clients.


    They rely on people like you to support this con game in the name of freedom, competitiveness and capitalism - though the health insurance industry actively works against these concepts every day, through its bought-&-paid-for servants in Congress.


    Seventeen years ago, Republicans defeated Hilarycare with the claim that capitalism and reforms to private insurance would do a far better job of improving access and driving down prices than the public option. Since then, insurance costs for most Americans have almost doubled in real terms, and the GOP has not legislated a single reform - nada - that might force insurers to compete with each other on the basis of price. Not even when they controlled the House, Senate and White House did Republicans try to make this industry behave like it was part of the capitalist system.


    Calling Obama a socialist is all very well. Good for you for sticking to the party line.


    The real socialists are the executives, lobbyists, legislators and paid mouthpieces who have worked so successfully to prevent reform to the bloated cost structure and uncompetitive practices of the insurance industry.
    18 Dec 2011, 01:03 AM Reply Like
  • "I've certainly got nothing against the free market. But the economics of health care have nothing to do with the same forces that have driven down the cost of computer chips and cellphones. You ought to do some reading about the concept of price elasticity, and learn how it is that insurers have been able to drive up the price of coverage at more than twice the rate of inflation for decades with no effect on demand, with negative impacts on accessibility and affordability and standards of living."


    And as demographics grey as they have been, that trend will not reverse any time soon. But you failed to mention the other real reason which is government control has only increased while no attempt at real reform has been attempted. Since when has across-state-line competition been allowed? The govt. is running and enforcing state monopolies. Indeed, the govt. is in the business of a monopoly with medicare and medicaid itself. And why did the govt. start these programs? It enabled insurers to rip off the rest of Americans not drawing on medicare. And meanwhile, jackpot tort lotto judgments have not only been raising the cost of insurance but also breeding paranoia between doctor and patient, forcing more ass covering regulations into the mix which too raises costs further. Have caps ever been introduced? Hello?


    But the bigger picture is that we can take your argument and extrapolate it, line by line, to practically everything. You have a right to healthcare? Really? Well, guess what? I have a right to foodcare! I have a right to automobile care!(how else am I going to get to the doctor? I live in the country without regional transit. Whaaa!) I have a right to a free college education care! I have a right to air care! (they're still trying it with Goldman Sachs creating a new carbon credits currency) I have a right to a home care! (uh... didn't we just experience this one via subprime?) I have a right to things much MORE IMPORTANT and PRESSING than a doctor visit! Things that I will die of much quicker than if I have an HMO like food and water and transporation and breathing and sleeping and walking and existing.


    If we take your argument we can use the same principles and apply them to every damn thing in our life. And that is exactly what the govt. is attempting to do and you have bought the lie, lock, stock and barrel.


    You believe in paternalism. I believe in freedom.


    I just would like to live in a society someday where I will be left alone, free do do as I will. But the more the interventionists scream for protection, the further enslaved we'll become. Everyone who wants single payer is a slave and wants the slave state.


    I want a system of zero intervention where markets interact between 'a buyer' and a 'provider of service' period. No middle person, either govt. or non(insurer).
    18 Dec 2011, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • It's amazing how some people think there is magic to getting the woefully inefficient ineffective government to run a complex and expensive activity like healthcare and it will come out 'free'. UK'S NHS manages to keep costs lower by killing patients who are too expensive to care for. This is 'equal access', y'all have a right to die, but you lose the right to save yourself.


    "But the economics of health care have nothing to do with the same forces that have driven down the cost of computer chips and cellphones."
    - This is 100% wrong. In fact, technology *could* make healthcare and education fundamentally cheaper but both are starved of real innovation due to government suffocating true innovation through overregulation, subsidizing innefficiency and destroying price incentives through 3rd party payers.


    Industry players are 'uncompetitive' because govt regulation drives out real choice and competition, leaving only bloated industry players hog-tied to govt rules, drowning in complex paperwork, and addicted to govt influence (lobbying) to make their money. Any railing against health insurers while advocating MORE govt intervention is truly engaged in self-contradiction - the health insurance industry of today is the handiwork of our overzealous governmental nanny-statists.


    "The real socialists are the executives, lobbyists, legislators and paid mouthpieces who have worked so successfully to prevent reform to the bloated cost structure and uncompetitive practices of the insurance industry. " Speaking of party line ... Obama the socialist got AARP, AMA *and* major drug companies and insurers to 'toe the party line' and support Obamacare during their cram-down campaign in 2009 and 2010. Millions of $$$ was funneled to Democrats from these special interests, and billions in $$$ is at stake in return. It's utter folly of you not to see what's really going on. Obamacare is making worse every aspect that you bemoan.
    "Reform" that equate to "government dictates more" is more of the poison that is killing healthcare today, and phony Democrat talking points bashing the other side dont change that reality. Of course healthcare isnt 'free market' - its the most over-regulated industry in America, and govt pays 60% of the freight in it. Our healthcare system is more communist than China, more socialist than Sweden. Our problems are rooted in that lack of freedom in that 60%, not the 40%.


    PS. LOL at that absurd claim that the GOP didnt author a 'reform' to 'force' competition on price. Funny, but my supermarkets dont need a law to do that. You want price competition in healthcare and lower costs? end healthcare socialism and give us healthcare freedom. Obamacare is deep-sixing price competition by killing off so many alternative ways of paying for it (like HSA, low-cost high deductible health insurance, and many forms of insurance that doesnt meet 80% threshold etc)
    18 Dec 2011, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • Its okay. He's a lefty.


    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need...
    17 Dec 2011, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • The left's new motto, straight from Orwell: Freedom From Liberty!
    17 Dec 2011, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • Just what New York State needs! The folks in Albany can't get much right and now they are given one more thing to mess up.
    This means more phone calls as to why something wasn't covered under my "family" plan.
    Too bad Canada is a little too far from my job for a commute :)
    Thanks for nothing.
    17 Dec 2011, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Having healthcare standards differ just because one decides to live on one side or the other of an invisible state boundry line makes absolutely no sense and just causes complying with insurance requirements much more expensive for healthcare companies which provide services nationally or regionally. An American living in Georgia does not have different healthcare needs than someone living in New York. Why should states decide fifty different ways that healthcare insurance is delivered, when an American healthcare needs for all Americans are the same regardless of where they choose to live?
    17 Dec 2011, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • Obama is the new Saddam! :-P
    What a disappointment.
    17 Dec 2011, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • IMHO


    All healthcare systems are no good.
    None of them will ever be good.
    Good healthcare system is not part of creator’s plan.
    More we try
    More we spend
    Same we achieve


    Single payer Canadian kind of system is what we need


    It does not innovate, it is not greatest healthcare in the world, it is cost controllable and it makes creator happy seeing his children as being humble and reasonable in their expectations


    agree with Freedoms Truth regarding current health care situation
    It neither buzz nor fit in an a..
    17 Dec 2011, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • President Obama does the will of the American people.
    17 Dec 2011, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • I'm an American. He does not represent me.


    You're a liar.
    18 Dec 2011, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • "President Obama does the will of the American people. "
    The will of 51% in latest polls is that he doesnt run for re-election and deserves to be fired.
    And a clear majority of Americans want Obamacare repealed.


    It would be nice to see Obama do what the people want but I wont hold my breath on that.
    18 Dec 2011, 11:08 PM Reply Like
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