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Frustrated by criticism over his healthcare initiative, President Obama is considering proposing...

Frustrated by criticism over his healthcare initiative, President Obama is considering proposing his own legislation. The Obama bill would include a trigger for the much-debated public option, having it kick in after 3-5 years if private insurers weren't living up to their obligations.
Comments (46)
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    Health-care costs are a bubble we have to burst. If Obama can do this, then good for him. If the National Health-Care Program just supports insurance companies at outrageous profits, as is now the case, then it will fail. Pop the bubble in health costs first. Then we need a national health-care system that will take the burden off of businesses, which is clearly a step in the right direction. We are the only advanced society in the world without national health-care. Why? Some vanity that we are the only society in the world 'doing it right'. 60% of American bankruptcies come from medical emergencies that are not paid for by existing insurance. Doctors get rich; drug companies get rich; insurance companies get rich. Everyone else suffers. We are wrong on health-insurance. We pay too much; we don't get much back. Health-care costs (benefits) helped to force American businesses to relocate operations overseas. We lost jobs so that our health-care industry could become bloated with cash. Opponents of health-care equate national health-care with the dread-word 'socialism' (socialism for AIG, Goldman Sachs and Chrysler is apparently ok), Atheism (the implication is that God wants people to die of lack of medical coverage while insurance executives get rich), and the 'loss of freedom' to choose their own doctor, etc. Please. Real 'loss of freedom' is going bankrupt over medical costs, and having a wife or child or mother die because of lack of money to pay for decent medical care. I hope Obama takes the lead on this, and succeeds. It's shameful how we treat poor people in this country in terms of medical needs. Health-care is a national right if we decide that it should be. It's no different in this way than 'freedom of speech'.
    6 Sep 2009, 03:25 AM Reply Like
  • carbonblack
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
     
    You left out the "plaintiffs bar gets rich" in your statement, which does not happen in places like Canada or England.
    Where did the idea that regular Americans are "ok" with the Obama administrations takeover of Aig, Chrysler, GM come from? Certainly not from the great majority of the SA readers that post and comment.
    "Real loss of freedom is going bankrupt over medical costs". Wow, care to back that statement with something more than hyperbole? And if that is the case, you certainly hold your freedom cheap willing to sell it for some cheesy alloy clad coins called "health care reform".
    It is a shame how we treat poor people in this county, G-d forbid that they actually have to take some responsibility for their well being. Can you imagine the number of out of works pols if more people realized how they have been conned for the last 50+ years by the party of compassion? Have you been to any big city emergency room lately, the lines of people dying outside after being denied care stretch around the block, except that they don"t.
    The reality is that we, the others that are responsible enough and hardworking enough already pay for those people's health care, either thru taxes or higher insurance premiums. No one is denied care even when some should be.
    You fail at founding documents reading, health care is not mentioned anywhere. General welfare is not what you think it is, go back and read what the gentlemen that wrote the documents actually stated in their letters and writings.
    6 Sep 2009, 07:38 AM Reply Like
  • EMS
    , contributor
    Comments (564) | Send Message
     
    Most doctors are not rich, but they deserve to be. They have worked much harder than lawyers, MBA's, and even professional athletes to accumulate the knowlege and skill to succeed. Most of the 'banksters' have accumulated far more assets than the average doctor and have provided very little of value to society. Next time you or a family member are sick, and are cured by Dr. you will realize what that their pay is well deserved, and what a nonsense comment that you have made.

     

    On Sep 06 03:25 AM Michael Clark wrote:

     

    > Health-care costs are a bubble we have to burst. If Obama can do
    > this, then good for him. If the National Health-Care Program just
    > supports insurance companies at outrageous profits, as is now the
    > case, then it will fail. Pop the bubble in health costs first. Then
    > we need a national health-care system that will take the burden off
    > of businesses, which is clearly a step in the right direction. We
    > are the only advanced society in the world without national health-care.
    > Why? Some vanity that we are the only society in the world 'doing
    > it right'. 60% of American bankruptcies come from medical emergencies
    > that are not paid for by existing insurance. Doctors get rich; drug
    > companies get rich; insurance companies get rich. Everyone else suffers.
    > We are wrong on health-insurance. We pay too much; we don't get much
    > back. Health-care costs (benefits) helped to force American businesses
    > to relocate operations overseas. We lost jobs so that our health-care
    > industry could become bloated with cash. Opponents of health-care
    > equate national health-care with the dread-word 'socialism' (socialism
    > for AIG, Goldman Sachs and Chrysler is apparently ok), Atheism (the
    > implication is that God wants people to die of lack of medical coverage
    > while insurance executives get rich), and the 'loss of freedom' to
    > choose their own doctor, etc. Please. Real 'loss of freedom' is going
    > bankrupt over medical costs, and having a wife or child or mother
    > die because of lack of money to pay for decent medical care. I hope
    > Obama takes the lead on this, and succeeds. It's shameful how we
    > treat poor people in this country in terms of medical needs. Health-care
    > is a national right if we decide that it should be. It's no different
    > in this way than 'freedom of speech'.
    6 Sep 2009, 08:26 AM Reply Like
  • User 4970
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    The fact remains we are collectively spending over 15% on GDP on Health Care, when the quality of care is rated close to that of Cuba. (According to World Health Organization) France and Italy, in the same survey are rated first and second spending approx 7-8% on Health Care. I think most people want better care than in Cuba, and while there are lawsuits, and illegal immigrants getting some level of care in the emergency rooms, we could and should do better, despite the attacks by the lobbyist inspired groups for the status quo, that cause us to spend over 15% of GDP on Health Care

     

    On Sep 06 07:38 AM carbonblack wrote:

     

    > You left out the "plaintiffs bar gets rich" in your statement, which
    > does not happen in places like Canada or England.
    > Where did the idea that regular Americans are "ok" with the Obama
    > administrations takeover of Aig, Chrysler, GM come from? Certainly
    > not from the great majority of the SA readers that post and comment.
    >
    > "Real loss of freedom is going bankrupt over medical costs". Wow,
    > care to back that statement with something more than hyperbole?
    > And if that is the case, you certainly hold your freedom cheap willing
    > to sell it for some cheesy alloy clad coins called "health care reform".
    >
    > It is a shame how we treat poor people in this county, G-d forbid
    > that they actually have to take some responsibility for their well
    > being. Can you imagine the number of out of works pols if more people
    > realized how they have been conned for the last 50+ years by the
    > party of compassion? Have you been to any big city emergency room
    > lately, the lines of people dying outside after being denied care
    > stretch around the block, except that they don"t.
    > The reality is that we, the others that are responsible enough and
    > hardworking enough already pay for those people's health care, either
    > thru taxes or higher insurance premiums. No one is denied care even
    > when some should be.
    > You fail at founding documents reading, health care is not mentioned
    > anywhere. General welfare is not what you think it is, go back and
    > read what the gentlemen that wrote the documents actually stated
    > in their letters and writings.
    6 Sep 2009, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • Niner
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    What's your income? You don't have the faintest idea what it's like to live in poverty. And you blame those that aren't as fortunate as you. You think they could do better if only they wanted. That is the elitest opinion that you and others have and isn't anything close to reality. Shall we discuss my mom. She's 83 and legally blind. Dad died 10 years ago and had a decent retirement with medical benefits. The company dad worked for filed bankruptcy. The bankruptcy judge drop kicked all the retirees pensions and medical benefits out the back door. Mom's social security and survivors benefits is less than 2000 per month. Yeah she is on medicare. But, if it weren't for the union providing her with a medicare supplement she would be down another 2-300 bucks. 15 years ago she had 5 bypasses. I don't know if that makes a difference on supplement premiums or not. Mom was lucky because dad retired at the right time and was covered under some special laws. Others I know personally, just lost their health care and pensions after 30 or 40 years of hard work. One works at the local City park so that he can health care.

     

    Shall I tell you about the widow who isn't old enough for medicare. She has only a HS education and is over 60 and therefore has limited job opportunities. She worked for the school system and carried there plan b ins. She felt she could better use the difference in prem between A and B to live on. Now that she has some minor health problems and the plan A would serve her better, the ins company won't let her move up because she has a pre existing condition.

     

    Bottom line is you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

     

    On Sep 06 07:38 AM carbonblack wrote:

     

    > You left out the "plaintiffs bar gets rich" in your statement, which
    > does not happen in places like Canada or England.
    > Where did the idea that regular Americans are "ok" with the Obama
    > administrations takeover of Aig, Chrysler, GM come from? Certainly
    > not from the great majority of the SA readers that post and comment.
    >
    > "Real loss of freedom is going bankrupt over medical costs". Wow,
    > care to back that statement with something more than hyperbole?
    > And if that is the case, you certainly hold your freedom cheap willing
    > to sell it for some cheesy alloy clad coins called "health care reform".
    >
    > It is a shame how we treat poor people in this county, G-d forbid
    > that they actually have to take some responsibility for their well
    > being. Can you imagine the number of out of works pols if more people
    > realized how they have been conned for the last 50+ years by the
    > party of compassion? Have you been to any big city emergency room
    > lately, the lines of people dying outside after being denied care
    > stretch around the block, except that they don"t.
    > The reality is that we, the others that are responsible enough and
    > hardworking enough already pay for those people's health care, either
    > thru taxes or higher insurance premiums. No one is denied care even
    > when some should be.
    > You fail at founding documents reading, health care is not mentioned
    > anywhere. General welfare is not what you think it is, go back and
    > read what the gentlemen that wrote the documents actually stated
    > in their letters and writings.
    6 Sep 2009, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Niner
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    I don't be grudge the Doctors pay...but I do begrudge Ins companies and excutives getting rich while they make money on the backs of the poor and those incapable of defending themselves.

     

    On Sep 06 08:26 AM EMS wrote:

     

    > Most doctors are not rich, but they deserve to be. They have worked
    > much harder than lawyers, MBA's, and even professional athletes to
    > accumulate the knowlege and skill to succeed. Most of the 'banksters'
    > have accumulated far more assets than the average doctor and have
    > provided very little of value to society. Next time you or a family
    > member are sick, and are cured by Dr. you will realize what that
    > their pay is well deserved, and what a nonsense comment that you
    > have made.
    6 Sep 2009, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Niner
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    I'm with you 4970...the system is broken and needs to repaired.

     

    On Sep 06 08:46 AM User 4970 wrote:

     

    > The fact remains we are collectively spending over 15% on GDP on
    > Health Care, when the quality of care is rated close to that of
    > Cuba. (According to World Health Organization) France and Italy,
    > in the same survey are rated first and second spending approx 7-8%
    > on Health Care. I think most people want better care than in Cuba,
    > and while there are lawsuits, and illegal immigrants getting some
    > level of care in the emergency rooms, we could and should do better,
    > despite the attacks by the lobbyist inspired groups for the status
    > quo, that cause us to spend over 15% of GDP on Health Care
    6 Sep 2009, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    " I hope Obama takes the lead on this, and succeeds. It's shameful how we treat poor people in this country in terms of medical needs. Health-care is a national right if we decide that it should be. It's no different in this way than 'freedom of speech'."

     

    This is an appalling (and completely unsubstantiated) statement. There is nothing about health care in the Constitution, or even any statement that could be abstracted to make such a bogus claim.

     

    The idea that individuals who spend 10+ years studying and training, and incur up to $500k in debt should then have their services extorted by anyone with a boo-boo or a tummy ache is as UNamerican as it gets.

     

    Historically, doctors have always been amongst the highest earners of both income and prestige. Our modern health care is turning them into wards of the State and there is a reason why fewer and fewer ambitious, industrious individuals are entering the medical field. Hmmm...10 years and $500k so that one day I can be the State's bitch? Or 2 years getting an MBA and make 6-8 figures as a Stock Jockey? Tough call.

     

    All those would-be doctors are now misguided souls in the banking, law, or accounting sectors. Both the individual and the society gets what it pays for.
    6 Sep 2009, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    This is going to sound harsh but you need to hear it.

     

    I can only assume your mom is living with you or a relative right? Right? You're not suggesting that YOUR sick, old, blind mother is my responsibility right?

     

    So with that in mind, what does a blind, sickly 83 year old lady living with her son WITH medicare need more than $2k/month for? I am confused. Up until the last twenty years or so it was EXPECTED that the elderly would be taken care of by their progeny. In fact, that was basically the function of a family--to take care of one another. And it will be again soon as the debt-bubble continues to implode. Reality will set in and the notion of kicking parents to the curb, shirking individual responsibility under the pretense that society should pick up the slack, will end.

     

    Any "society" is only a composition of individuals. The idea that we can be socially responsible without any individual accountability is absurd and an excellent illumination to our present mess.

     

    Oh, and your anecdotal widow who tried to game the system and lost is sad, but just another manifestation of my point. No different than the grasshopper who spends all summer frolicking then becomes indignant in the winter when he has no food. She took the cash and ran. Now she wants a re-do. Oops.

     

    Like I said, its harsh but people need to be smacked out of the thoughtless coma from which the entitlement-State has induced them.

     

    MM
    On Sep 06 11:07 AM Niner wrote:

     

    >
    > What's your income? You don't have the faintest idea what it's like
    > to live in poverty. And you blame those that aren't as fortunate
    > as you. You think they could do better if only they wanted. That
    > is the elitest opinion that you and others have and isn't anything
    > close to reality. Shall we discuss my mom. She's 83 and legally
    > blind. Dad died 10 years ago and had a decent retirement with medical
    > benefits. The company dad worked for filed bankruptcy. The bankruptcy
    > judge drop kicked all the retirees pensions and medical benefits
    > out the back door. Mom's social security and survivors benefits
    > is less than 2000 per month. Yeah she is on medicare. But, if it
    > weren't for the union providing her with a medicare supplement she
    > would be down another 2-300 bucks. 15 years ago she had 5 bypasses.
    > I don't know if that makes a difference on supplement premiums or
    > not. Mom was lucky because dad retired at the right time and was
    > covered under some special laws. Others I know personally, just
    > lost their health care and pensions after 30 or 40 years of hard
    > work. One works at the local City park so that he can health care.
    >
    >
    > Shall I tell you about the widow who isn't old enough for medicare.
    > She has only a HS education and is over 60 and therefore has limited
    > job opportunities. She worked for the school system and carried
    > there plan b ins. She felt she could better use the difference in
    > prem between A and B to live on. Now that she has some minor health
    > problems and the plan A would serve her better, the ins company won't
    > let her move up because she has a pre existing condition.
    >
    > Bottom line is you don't know what the hell you are talking about.
    >
    6 Sep 2009, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Just for the record, I am a healthy, young, 26 year old living with a family member making $36k/year (base) with substantial and continuously increasing savings.

     

    Would it be cool to live alone in an awesome apartment or an awesome house, drive an awesome car, wear awesome clothes, do awesome things and just be generally all-around awesome? Sure...and someday I will. When I can afford it. Right now is not that time.

     

    Like any magnificent skyscraper, an individual is only as good as their foundation. Figuratively and literally we are watching the cheaply built structures of our society crumple. I only hope the lesson learned will be to build better foundations and not something perverse along the lines of, "if only we had a little more duct tape"

     

    MM
    6 Sep 2009, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    I am glad you stated your age, it goes along with your ignorance!

     

    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 12:39 PM mikebrah wrote:

     

    > Just for the record, I am a healthy, young, 26 year old living with
    > a family member making $36k/year (base) with substantial and continuously
    > increasing savings.
    >
    > Would it be cool to live alone in an awesome apartment or an awesome
    > house, drive an awesome car, wear awesome clothes, do awesome things
    > and just be generally all-around awesome? Sure...and someday I will.
    > When I can afford it. Right now is not that time.
    >
    > Like any magnificent skyscraper, an individual is only as good as
    > their foundation. Figuratively and literally we are watching the
    > cheaply built structures of our society crumple. I only hope the
    > lesson learned will be to build better foundations and not something
    > perverse along the lines of, "if only we had a little more duct tape"
    >
    >
    > MM
    6 Sep 2009, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Please elaborate as your comment was entirely worthless.

     

    MM

     

    On Sep 06 12:52 PM dshark wrote:

     

    > I am glad you stated your age, it goes along with your ignorance!
    >
    >
    > SHARK
    6 Sep 2009, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    Glad to back up my statement with facts.

     

    www.salon.com/tech/htw...

     

    Bankruptcy: The healthcare connection

     

    Americans filed for bankruptcy at a rate of 6,020 per day in May, reports Credit Slip's Bob Lawless. That's the first time the 6,000-per-day mark has been broken since the passing of the 2005 bankruptcy law, which made it hard for Americans to seek relief from their debts.

     

    In related bankruptcy news, the results of a study to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine show that "medical problems contributed to nearly two-thirds (62.1 percent) of all bankruptcies in 2007." More strikingly -- "between 2001 and 2007, the proportion of all bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6 percent." (Found via Mark Thoma.

     

    The authors of the study cite their findings as yet more evidence that the healthcare system in the United States is broken.

     

    Dr. Deborah Thorne, associate professor of sociology at Ohio University and study co-author, stated: "American families are confronting a panoply of social forces that make it terribly difficult to maintain financial stability -- job losses and wages that have not kept pace with the cost of living, exploitation from the various lending industries, and, probably most consequential and disgraceful, a health care system that is so dysfunctional that even the most mundane illness or injury can result in bankruptcy. Families who file medical bankruptcies are overwhelmingly hard-working, middle-class families who have played by the rules of our economic system, and they deserve nothing less than affordable health care."

     

    We don't know what factors directly accounted for 2009's swelling bankruptcies -- obviously, you don't need the impetus of a serious medical problem to push you into bankruptcy when you've lost your job and your home because of a cratering economy. But it's also safe to assume that a significant number of people who might have been able to afford their healthcare no longer can, given the current economic circumstances. So I think Thoma is right to wonder "how much a health care plan that protects people from losing everything when serious illness hits would have helped to soften the economic crisis."

     

    ― Andrew Leonard

     

    On Sep 06 07:38 AM carbonblack wrote:

     

    > You left out the "plaintiffs bar gets rich" in your statement, which
    > does not happen in places like Canada or England.
    > Where did the idea that regular Americans are "ok" with the Obama
    > administrations takeover of Aig, Chrysler, GM come from? Certainly
    > not from the great majority of the SA readers that post and comment.
    >
    > "Real loss of freedom is going bankrupt over medical costs". Wow,
    > care to back that statement with something more than hyperbole?
    > And if that is the case, you certainly hold your freedom cheap willing
    > to sell it for some cheesy alloy clad coins called "health care reform".
    >
    > It is a shame how we treat poor people in this county, G-d forbid
    > that they actually have to take some responsibility for their well
    > being. Can you imagine the number of out of works pols if more people
    > realized how they have been conned for the last 50+ years by the
    > party of compassion? Have you been to any big city emergency room
    > lately, the lines of people dying outside after being denied care
    > stretch around the block, except that they don"t.
    > The reality is that we, the others that are responsible enough and
    > hardworking enough already pay for those people's health care, either
    > thru taxes or higher insurance premiums. No one is denied care even
    > when some should be.
    > You fail at founding documents reading, health care is not mentioned
    > anywhere. General welfare is not what you think it is, go back and
    > read what the gentlemen that wrote the documents actually stated
    > in their letters and writings.
    6 Sep 2009, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    Arguably, the Obama initiative has merits as there are ample opportunities to reform our health care system in its present form. However, these are mammoth issues and as the saying goes - - - "Before an infant could run, he/she would learn how to walk first."

     

    For Congress to legislate universal benefits would be a fatal mistake, just as one could not legislate wealth and prosperity. To this end, I would like to tender a few observations below:

     

    1) The Medical Community as a whole needs to change. That community is famous for its protectionist stance for centuries. Recall that earlier in the last century the AMA was successfully sued up to the Supreme Court by the Chiropractics as being monopolistic?

     

    A lot of the tests and procedures seem excessive (particularly surgical). Western medicine seems to be too compartmentalized and not holistic and integrated. Drug prescriptions are more often than not administered too heavy-handed. That, as I conjecture, is the reason that so many patients (myself included) have had no choice but to seek out alternative medicine to the order of ~$50B a year in the United States alone.

     

    2) One recalls the example of having to ask one doctor to fax or sending medical records to another doctor's office, and the trouble of carrying an X-ray film around from office to offices. Medical records and associated billings are notoriously cumbersome and are in dire need of more interoperable streamlining, and automation.

     

    Of late, I noticed that the stock prices of some leading IT firms in the health care sector have gone up, up, and up anticipating a big chunk of contract award monies from the so-called "health care overhaul" initiatives. This is premature. Case in point - the UK example. The UK has been forging ahead to unify its medical record system for about 7 years, but ran into serious unexpected obstacles. Given the comparatively small size of the UK health care system (hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes, etc.) compared to the gigantic US's., our system would probably take over a decade to be harmonized.

     

    The Obama administration would be better advised to start IT pilot projects first to make sure that it works. Simply legislating things to happen is not the way to go. A thing as simple of the Cash for Clunkers ran into bumps and took an extra $50M of bureaucrats to fix.

     

    Hope this helps!

     

    TK
    6 Sep 2009, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I can back up my statement with examples and facts:

     

    Facts on the Cost of Health Insurance and Health Care

     

    Health care spending continues to rise at a rapid rate forcing businesses to cut back on health insurance coverage and forcing many families to cut back on basic necessities such as food and electricity and, in some cases, shelters and homes.

     

    Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems increase the cost of medical care associated with government health programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.

     

    National Health Care Spending

     

    National health spending is expected to reach $2.5 trillion in 2009, accounting for 17.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). By 2018, national health care expenditures are expected to reach $4.4 trillion—more than double 2007 spending.1

     

    National health expenditures are expected to increase faster than the growth in GDP: between 2008 and 2018, the average increase in national health expenditures is expected to be 6.2 percent per year, while the GDP is expected to increase only 4.1 percent per year. 1
    I
    n just three years, the Medicare and Medicaid programs will account for 50 percent of all national health spending. 1
    Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is expected to pay out more in hospital benefits and other expenditures this year than it receives in taxes and other dedicated revenues. In addition, the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund that pays for physician services and the prescription drug benefit will continue to require general revenue financing and charges on beneficiaries that will grow substantially faster than the economy and beneficiary incomes over time. 2
    According to one study, of the $2.1 trillion the U.S. spent on health care in 2006, nearly $650 billion was above what we would expect to spend based on the level of U.S. wealth versus other nations. These additional costs are attributable to $436 billion outpatient care and another $186 billion of spending related to high administrative costs. 3

     

    Employer and Employee Health Insurance Costs

     

    Over the last decade, employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have increased 119 percent. 4

     

    Employees have seen their share of job-based coverage increase at nearly the same rate during this period jumping from $1,543 to $3,354.4

     

    The cumulative increase in employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have raised at four times the rate of inflation and wage increases during last decade. This increase has made it much more difficult for businesses to continue to provide coverage to their employees and for those workers to afford coverage themselves.4

     

    The average employer-sponsored premium for a family of four costs close to $13,000 a year, and the employee foots about 30 percent of this cost.4 Health insurance costs are the fastest growing expense for employers. Employer health insurance costs overtook profits in 2008, and the gap grows steadily. 5
    Total health insurance costs for employers could reach nearly $850 billion by 2019. Individual and family spending will jump considerably from $326 billion in 2009 to $550 billion in 2019.6
    The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that job-based health insurance could increase 100 percent over the next decade.7 Employer-based family insurance costs for a family of four will reach nearly $25,000 per year by 2018 absent health care reform.7

     

    The Impact of Rising Health Care Costs

     

    Economists have found that rising health care costs correlate with significant drops in health insurance coverage, and national surveys also show that the primary reason people are uninsured is due to the high and escalating cost of health insurance coverage.8

     

    A recent study found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses. Of those who filed for bankruptcy, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.9
    According to another published article, about 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs.10

     

    Without health care reform, small businesses will pay nearly $2.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years in health care costs for their workers, 178,000 small business jobs will be lost by 2018 as a result of health care costs, $834 billion in small business wages will be lost due to high health care costs over the next ten years, small businesses will lose $52.1 billion in profits to high health care costs and 1.6 million small business workers will suffer “job lock“— roughly one in 16 people currently insured by their employers.11

     

    References

     

    1. Siska, A, et al, Health Spending Projections Through 2018: Recession Effects Add Uncertainty to The Outlook Health Affairs, March/April 2009; 28(2): w346-w357.
    2. A Summary of the 2009 Annual Reports, Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, 2009.
    3. McKinsey & Company, Accounting for the Cost of U.S. Health Care – A New Look on Why Americans Spend More. McKinsey & Company, 2007
    4. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Employee Health Benefits: 2008 Annual Survey. September 2008.
    5. McKinsey and Company. The McKinsey Quarterly Chart Focus Newsletter, “Will Health Benefit Costs Eclipse Profits,” September, 2004 and updated by Eric Jensen, Senior Fellow, McKinsey and Company at National Coalition on Health Care Forum on National Health Care Reform and Its Potential Impacts on New York, May 27, 2009.
    6.Health Reform: The Cost of Failure. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, May 2009.
    7. Congressional Budget Office, “Taxes and Health Insurance,” February 29, 2008.
    8. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The Uninsured: A Primer, Key Facts About Americans without Health Insurance. 2009. April 2009.
    9. Himmelstein, D, E., et al, “Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, American Journal of Medicine, May 2009.
    10. Robertson, C.T., et al. “Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures,” Health Matrix, 2008.
    11. The Economic Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, Small Business Majority, June 2009.

     

    On Sep 06 07:38 AM carbonblack wrote:

     

    > You left out the "plaintiffs bar gets rich" in your statement, which
    > does not happen in places like Canada or England.
    > Where did the idea that regular Americans are "ok" with the Obama
    > administrations takeover of Aig, Chrysler, GM come from? Certainly
    > not from the great majority of the SA readers that post and comment.
    >
    > "Real loss of freedom is going bankrupt over medical costs". Wow,
    > care to back that statement with something more than hyperbole?
    > And if that is the case, you certainly hold your freedom cheap willing
    > to sell it for some cheesy alloy clad coins called "health care reform".
    >
    > It is a shame how we treat poor people in this county, G-d forbid
    > that they actually have to take some responsibility for their well
    > being. Can you imagine the number of out of works pols if more people
    > realized how they have been conned for the last 50+ years by the
    > party of compassion? Have you been to any big city emergency room
    > lately, the lines of people dying outside after being denied care
    > stretch around the block, except that they don"t.
    > The reality is that we, the others that are responsible enough and
    > hardworking enough already pay for those people's health care, either
    > thru taxes or higher insurance premiums. No one is denied care even
    > when some should be.
    > You fail at founding documents reading, health care is not mentioned
    > anywhere. General welfare is not what you think it is, go back and
    > read what the gentlemen that wrote the documents actually stated
    > in their letters and writings.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    More facts.
    George Will, hardly a communist, wrote about this same thing, saying that one of the main reasons GM went bankrupt was because of rising medical costs guaranteed to workers. Japanese companies are at an advantage because their government provides universal healthcare for its citizens and the businesses don't have to deal with it. Will writes:

     

    --GM says health expenditures -- $1,525 per car produced; there is more health care than steel in a GM vehicle's price tag -- are one of the main reasons it lost $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2005. Ford's profits fell 38 percent, and although Ford had forecast 2005 profits of $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion, it now probably will have a year's loss of $100 million to $200 million. All this while Toyota's sales are up 23 percent this year and Americans are buying cars and light trucks at a rate that would produce 2005 sales almost equal to the record of 17.4 million in 2000.

     

    In 1962 half the cars sold in America were made by GM. Now its market share is roughly 25 percent. In 1999 the Big Three -- GM, Ford, Chrysler -- had a 71 percent market share. Their share is now 58 percent and falling. Twenty-three percent of those working for auto companies in North America now work for companies other than the Big Three, up from 14.6 percent just five years ago.

     

    The Big Three have cut 130,394 North American hourly and salaried workers since 2000, while the "transplants" -- foreign automakers with American assembly plants -- have added 27,183. In the first quarter of 2005 the Big Three operated 64 assembly plants, down from 70 in five years, during which time the transplants' factories have increased from 19 to 23, with more coming.

     

    GM says its health care burdens, negotiated with the United Auto Workers, put it at a $5 billion disadvantage against Toyota in the United States, because Japan's government, not Japanese employers, provides almost all health care in Japan. This reasoning could produce a push by much of corporate America for the federal government to assume more health care costs. This would be done in the name of "leveling the playing field" to produce competitive "fairness." --

     

    Universal health-care would not be such a big issue to me IF the medical cartel had not inflated their costs to the point of making their services unaffordable and even crippling for the society and for American business. Health.com reports that about 60% of American bankruptcies are caused by medical emergencies:

     

    -- (Health.com) — This year, an estimated 1.5 million Americans will declare bankruptcy. Many people may chalk up that misfortune to overspending or a lavish lifestyle, but a new study suggests that more than 60% of people who go bankrupt are actually capsized by medical bills. Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50% in a six-year period, from 46% in 2001 to 62% in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners, according to a report that will be published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

     

    “Unless you’re a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country,” says lead author Steffie Woolhandler, MD, of the Harvard Medical School, in Cambridge, Mass. “If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that’s the major finding in our study.” --

     

    In no other developed country in the world does this happen, in the name of the 'free market system'. My argument is that it is foolish to allow the 'free market' ideology to allow the medical cartel to inflate healthcare prices so that they bankrupt the society, American business, and enrich only insurance companies, doctors and drug companies. Healthcare has long been a knee-jerk republican issue, like abortion, gun-ownership, school-prayer…as if continuation of the American dream was dependent upon the enrichment of doctors and insurance companies at the expense of everyone else.

     

    Dave Schuler writes about inflation in the health-care sector:

     

    -- From 1965 to 1981 national expenditures on health care more than doubled from $201 billion to $507 billion in real 2009 dollars. Most of the increase in costs in healthcare can be explained by three factors: increased utilization, particularly immediately after the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid during the period 1965-1972, higher prices, particularly during the period 1972-1981, and inflation. Most of the increases after 1981 can be explained by inflation alone.

     

    In the period 1965-1972 use increases accounted for 45.8% of the increase in healthcare spending and price increases accounted for 45%. In the period 1965-1972 57.5% of the increase in spending for physician services can be accounted for by price increases and 32.2% accounted for by increased utilization.

     

    Hospital expenses and physician services account for the majority of healthcare costs and both of those are other words for people’s incomes. Rent, insurance, equipment, and so on are a pittance by comparison with wages as components of both of those.

     

    Here’s my alternative explanation for what has happened to healthcare costs. In the immediate aftermath of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1966 there was an increased utilization of healthcare. That is what was supposed to happen: old people and poor people were supposed to get more healthcare. In a fee for services environment, the model that prevailed at the time and still has considerable force, that means that physicians and hospitals made significantly more money. Their incomes increased. When utilization levelled off (as should also have been expected) they continued to increase their incomes by raising prices. They had become accustomed to increasing incomes.

     

    In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the increasing healthcare expenditures capturing of such a quickly rising proportion of the federal budget finally caught the attention of the Congress and a number of steps were taken to slow the increase. But the harm had mostly been done. A high cost basis had been built into healthcare, healthcare was a major component of total GDP, and inflation alone (of which rising healthcare costs are one of the largest components) was enough for healthcare costs to grow unsustainably.

     

    I am not blaming healthcare providers for acting this way. I believe it was a natural human response and they responded as anyone else would have under the circumstances.

     

    However, it means that simple cost control won’t achieve what we need to accomplish. The primary components of healthcare costs are hospital costs and physician services which comprise the majority of costs, insurance administrative costs which comprise something like 30% of costs, pharmaceutical costs which comprise something like 10% of costs, and other factors which comprise very small proportions of the whole. All of these costs are other words for wages, somebody’s income. Healthcare costs are high because wages in the sector are high. --

     

    On Sep 06 07:38 AM carbonblack wrote:

     

    > You left out the "plaintiffs bar gets rich" in your statement, which
    > does not happen in places like Canada or England.
    > Where did the idea that regular Americans are "ok" with the Obama
    > administrations takeover of Aig, Chrysler, GM come from? Certainly
    > not from the great majority of the SA readers that post and comment.
    >
    > "Real loss of freedom is going bankrupt over medical costs". Wow,
    > care to back that statement with something more than hyperbole?
    > And if that is the case, you certainly hold your freedom cheap willing
    > to sell it for some cheesy alloy clad coins called "health care reform".
    >
    > It is a shame how we treat poor people in this county, G-d forbid
    > that they actually have to take some responsibility for their well
    > being. Can you imagine the number of out of works pols if more people
    > realized how they have been conned for the last 50+ years by the
    > party of compassion? Have you been to any big city emergency room
    > lately, the lines of people dying outside after being denied care
    > stretch around the block, except that they don"t.
    > The reality is that we, the others that are responsible enough and
    > hardworking enough already pay for those people's health care, either
    > thru taxes or higher insurance premiums. No one is denied care even
    > when some should be.
    > You fail at founding documents reading, health care is not mentioned
    > anywhere. General welfare is not what you think it is, go back and
    > read what the gentlemen that wrote the documents actually stated
    > in their letters and writings.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    I would rather have doctors be rich than musicians, actors, athletes, bankers, CEOs...no question. But I still stand by my comment, that a system that defends the wealth of doctors, insurance executives and drug company executives and which supports the bankruptcy of ordinary American dues to medical emergeny and the deaths of poor people because of inability to pay for medical treatment is a sick society, with perverse values. Evil is a word I don't use often. But it is evil to put a tiny minority of filthy rich ahead of the vast majority of Americans who are being priced out of the health market. Failure to address this with substantial change will eventually lead to a revolution in America.

     

    Defending the status quo has never been more stupid and blind than it is on the issue of American health-care. (I've got mine; to hell with everyone else. It's just another form of 'let them eat cake'.)

     

    On Sep 06 08:26 AM EMS wrote:

     

    > Most doctors are not rich, but they deserve to be. They have worked
    > much harder than lawyers, MBA's, and even professional athletes to
    > accumulate the knowlege and skill to succeed. Most of the 'banksters'
    > have accumulated far more assets than the average doctor and have
    > provided very little of value to society. Next time you or a family
    > member are sick, and are cured by Dr. you will realize what that
    > their pay is well deserved, and what a nonsense comment that you
    > have made.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    You'd probably be amazed that other countries have well educated doctors who are not paid millions of dollars a year for their services. Money is not the only form of reward in the world. As Americans, we tend to forget this.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    I am self employed with two businesses that I didn't start one a shoe string. I saved from corp jobs and made the plunge 5 years ago. The cost of health care for me and my family will bankrupt me if it continues. Small business and the creation of the businesses as well as the jobs that go along with it make up a substantial part of our economy. My income from my companies is down 40% over the last few years with a waning economy. I have made cut back after cut back to my business as well as my personal spending habits to try and make it though this period. I spend $1000 a month for health care with a 80% 20% split. The child I had a year ago cost me another $6000 in co-insurance and deductibles on top of the $12,000 a year I pay in premiums. It is pushing me back to the brink of having to go seek work to cover them.

     

    So you are going about it right by saving and keeping your costs down, but there will be a point where you may want to take a risk and maybe start a business. If the cost is to prohibited then you and all like you won't be viably able to take that risk because the numbers won't add up! It will hurt us all in the end.I am not looking for a free ride. I work 80 hours a week and both my wife and I are well educated.

     

    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 12:55 PM mikebrah wrote:

     

    > Please elaborate as your comment was entirely worthless.
    >
    > MM
    6 Sep 2009, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    Mike:

     

    I didn't suggest that 'health care was a right' was in the constitution. But that's what a democracy is: it passes laws and declares rights. We can pass a law that says that 'health care is a right'. It then can be challenged in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court doesn't overturn the law, then it is a right, just like the right to bear arms, the right to free speech. That's how a society keeps its constitution alive.

     

    We passed laws that women, first, and black people, next, could vote. The constitution didn't give either women or black people the right to vote.

     

    I'm hoping you agree with those more recent rights, even if you don't agree with the idea of healthcare being a right, even though it is an accepted right in 95% of advanced civilizations on the earth. Why do we cling so tenaciously to the idea that only successful and rich people have the right to be alive and be healthy. This 'rugged individualism' has gone way too damn far.

     

    On Sep 06 12:09 PM mikebrah wrote:

     

    > " I hope Obama takes the lead on this, and succeeds. It's shameful
    > how we treat poor people in this country in terms of medical needs.
    > Health-care is a national right if we decide that it should be. It's
    > no different in this way than 'freedom of speech'."
    >
    > This is an appalling (and completely unsubstantiated) statement.
    > There is nothing about health care in the Constitution, or even any
    > statement that could be abstracted to make such a bogus claim.
    >
    >
    > The idea that individuals who spend 10+ years studying and training,
    > and incur up to $500k in debt should then have their services extorted
    > by anyone with a boo-boo or a tummy ache is as UNamerican as it gets.
    >
    >
    > Historically, doctors have always been amongst the highest earners
    > of both income and prestige. Our modern health care is turning them
    > into wards of the State and there is a reason why fewer and fewer
    > ambitious, industrious individuals are entering the medical field.
    > Hmmm...10 years and $500k so that one day I can be the State's bitch?
    > Or 2 years getting an MBA and make 6-8 figures as a Stock Jockey?
    > Tough call.
    >
    > All those would-be doctors are now misguided souls in the banking,
    > law, or accounting sectors. Both the individual and the society
    > gets what it pays for.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    This is a very common story. The inflation in health-care is helping to bankrupt our society.

     

    On Sep 06 01:17 PM dshark wrote:

     

    > I am self employed with two businesses that I didn't start one a
    > shoe string. I saved from corp jobs and made the plunge 5 years ago.
    > The cost of health care for me and my family will bankrupt me if
    > it continues. Small business and the creation of the businesses as
    > well as the jobs that go along with it make up a substantial part
    > of our economy. My income from my companies is down 40% over the
    > last few years with a waning economy. I have made cut back after
    > cut back to my business as well as my personal spending habits to
    > try and make it though this period. I spend $1000 a month for health
    > care with a 80% 20% split. The child I had a year ago cost me another
    > $6000 in co-insurance and deductibles on top of the $12,000 a year
    > I pay in premiums. It is pushing me back to the brink of having to
    > go seek work to cover them.
    >
    > So you are going about it right by saving and keeping your costs
    > down, but there will be a point where you may want to take a risk
    > and maybe start a business. If the cost is to prohibited then you
    > and all like you won't be viably able to take that risk because the
    > numbers won't add up! It will hurt us all in the end.I am not looking
    > for a free ride. I work 80 hours a week and both my wife and I are
    > well educated.
    >
    > SHARK
    >
    > On Sep 06 12:55 PM mikebrah wrote:
    6 Sep 2009, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6775) | Send Message
     
    "It's the economy, stupid. Obama has been barking up the wrong tree with healthcare.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Niner
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    A quote from the Declaration of Independence; "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

     

    "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter (it)........"

     

    All subject to interpretation of course. But there it is in the Declaration of Independence written by the people that wrote the Constitution, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It says all people should have these unalienable rights. How can you maintain your right to life if you have inadequate health care?

     

    They Constitution didn't mention the use of the airwaves for TV , radio etc or airspace or outerspace or automobiles or cell phones. The statement that the Constitution didn't mention Health Care is lame, really lame.
    On Sep 06 12:09 PM mikebrah wrote:

     

    > " I hope Obama takes the lead on this, and succeeds. It's shameful
    > how we treat poor people in this country in terms of medical needs.
    > Health-care is a national right if we decide that it should be. It's
    > no different in this way than 'freedom of speech'."
    >
    > This is an appalling (and completely unsubstantiated) statement.
    > There is nothing about health care in the Constitution, or even any
    > statement that could be abstracted to make such a bogus claim.
    >
    >
    > The idea that individuals who spend 10+ years studying and training,
    > and incur up to $500k in debt should then have their services extorted
    > by anyone with a boo-boo or a tummy ache is as UNamerican as it gets.
    >
    >
    > Historically, doctors have always been amongst the highest earners
    > of both income and prestige. Our modern health care is turning them
    > into wards of the State and there is a reason why fewer and fewer
    > ambitious, industrious individuals are entering the medical field.
    > Hmmm...10 years and $500k so that one day I can be the State's bitch?
    > Or 2 years getting an MBA and make 6-8 figures as a Stock Jockey?
    > Tough call.
    >
    > All those would-be doctors are now misguided souls in the banking,
    > law, or accounting sectors. Both the individual and the society
    > gets what it pays for.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • Mad_Max_A_Million
    , contributor
    Comments (1175) | Send Message
     
    After two tours in the Vietnam war, I decided it was time to try my chances at survival doing something else. So I left the Army with a pregnant wife and no insurance – Ended up paying for all the medical bills on a single salary and no savings. Sure, I could have declared health care a birth-right and demanded that the rest of the taxpayers ante-up. That socialistic thinking would of course have put an even bigger tax burden on small businesses like Sharky. Sometimes, not always, self-determination and sacrifice will get you thru where [Everybody owes me] never will.

     

    But I now realize that's just an old fashion, obsolete, moderates view.
    6 Sep 2009, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    Again, more Ignorance!

     

    When I started in biz my insurance was $500 month which I knew would be a drag. Now it's $1000.

     

    So maybe this simple analogy will help you and maybe make me not make feel as "Stupid" as you state.

     

    I am climbing a mountain (starting a business) and health insurance used to be a 10lbs weight on my back. Now the economy has turned and insurance has gone up 100%. The weight on
    my back (cost of insurance) is now 50lbs and the mountain is getting steeper (economy getting worse)!! Legs are starting to buckle!

     

    Get the picture now?

     

    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 01:49 PM Graham and Dodd Investor wrote:

     

    > "It's the economy, stupid. Obama has been barking up the wrong tree
    > with healthcare.
    6 Sep 2009, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • nova
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    Niner wrote:
    "What's your income? You don't have the faintest idea what it's like to live in poverty. And you blame those that aren't as fortunate as you. You think they could do better if only they wanted."

     

    A little bit of the history
    The great socialist comrade Stalin stated: "Who doesn't work doesn't eat."
    Beggars were arrested and sent to hard-labor concentration camps. Consequently, the Soviet Union did not have poor people. Was not it great?

     

    First of all, freedom is a right to have opportunities to work for a better life. It is not an entitlement to a good life using somebody else money.

     

    PS
    After all, I started to believe in a free-market socialism.
    6 Sep 2009, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • nova
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    Niner wrote:
    "How can you maintain your right to life if you have inadequate health care?"

     

    Why just stop at "inadequate health care"? I would add inadequate housing, education, food, wine, vacation, etc.,?

     

    What does it mean "inadequate"? A private room in a hospital with world experts flying to your hospital bed for consultations? Or 10 bedroom house with 10 servants assisting in "adequate" living.,,
    6 Sep 2009, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    I admire your self-sufficiency. Health-care is much more expensive now than it was 30 years ago. If we burst the health-care bubble, then maybe we can all afford to pay our own medical bills. But the inflation of medical costs has been astronomical. Health-care has been fixed by the rich medical providers AMA and Drug companies; and the health insurers fix prices of policies...so insurance goes through the roof.

     

    It's one thing to believe in self-sufficiency, very noble. It's another thing to defend a status quo that is rigged to make a handful of people super-rich from plundering the working poor of the raises they cannot get at work because the raises are flying out of the business directly into the pockets of the insurance executives.

     

    There is a lot of corruption in America that benefits from defense of the status quo. Defend the positive values of America -- but don't defend the corruption of the super-rich.

     

    On Sep 06 01:55 PM Mad_Max_A_Million wrote:

     

    > After two tours in the Vietnam war, I decided it was time to try
    > my chances at survival doing something else. So I left the Army
    > with a pregnant wife and no insurance – Ended up paying for all the
    > medical bills on a single salary and no savings. Sure, I could have
    > declared health care a birth-right and demanded that the rest of
    > the taxpayers ante-up. That socialistic thinking would of course
    > have put an even bigger tax burden on small businesses like Sharky.
    > Sometimes, not always, self-determination and sacrifice will get
    > you thru where [Everybody owes me] never will.
    >
    > But I now realize that's just an old fashion, obsolete, moderates
    > view.
    6 Sep 2009, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    Every advanced nation in the world EXCEPT the United States considers adequate health-care a right. Are they all stupid and foolish? Do they understand something we don't understand, clinging to our primitive worship of wealth?

     

    On Sep 06 02:18 PM nova wrote:

     

    > Niner wrote:
    > "How can you maintain your right to life if you have inadequate health
    > care?"
    >
    > Why just stop at "inadequate health care"? I would add inadequate
    > housing, education, food, wine, vacation, etc.,?
    >
    > What does it mean "inadequate"? A private room in a hospital with
    > world experts flying to your hospital bed for consultations? Or 10
    > bedroom house with 10 servants assisting in "adequate" living.,,
    6 Sep 2009, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    Mad Max,
    I understand it was a risk I took. I am not asking for free health care. I just want something that I can reasonably afford to keep my 3 children and my wife and I covered without having to abandon my desire to do my own thing in life. The costs are getting crazy and the coverage I pay for getting worse. Half the bills submitted from the hospital for my son where originally denied by may carrier. We had to hunt doctors down and verify they were on our network when the insurance was stating they weren't. We had to write appeals on several occasion to get costs covered. It seems as if the mantra of the insurance company is to deny.. deny.. deny.. OK, we will cover the costs since you made enough noise. I am paying premium costs for this coverage, it is one of the big insurance companies not some cut rate outfit. It is absolutely terrible dealing with them and pains me to pay them every month and I don't really have a lot of other choices to turn to.

     

    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 01:55 PM Mad_Max_A_Million wrote:

     

    > After two tours in the Vietnam war, I decided it was time to try
    > my chances at survival doing something else. So I left the Army with
    > a pregnant wife and no insurance – Ended up paying for all the medical
    > bills on a single salary and no savings. Sure, I could have declared
    > health care a birth-right and demanded that the rest of the taxpayers
    > ante-up. That socialistic thinking would of course have put an even
    > bigger tax burden on small businesses like Sharky. Sometimes, not
    > always, self-determination and sacrifice will get you thru where
    > [Everybody owes me] never will.
    >
    > But I now realize that's just an old fashion, obsolete, moderates
    > view.
    6 Sep 2009, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    It means the right to be able TO LIVE if you get sick! That plain and that simple.

     

    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 02:18 PM nova wrote:

     

    > Niner wrote:
    > "How can you maintain your right to life if you have inadequate health
    > care?"
    >
    > Why just stop at "inadequate health care"? I would add inadequate
    > housing, education, food, wine, vacation, etc.,?
    >
    > What does it mean "inadequate"? A private room in a hospital with
    > world experts flying to your hospital bed for consultations? Or 10
    > bedroom house with 10 servants assisting in "adequate" living.,,
    6 Sep 2009, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    dshark,

     

    Thanks for your response. But I am struggling to see where our views differ and why you initially called me ignorant?

     

    I find your situation completely unacceptable. Nothing in my previous statements suggested otherwise. I was ridiculing the notion of more, more, more, and free, free, free. I think our current system is completely broken and in need of drastic overhaul.

     

    Did you misinterpret me, did I misspeak, or have I misunderstood your position in some way?

     

    Another poster mentioned the over-prescription syndrome that is so prevalent today. I completely agree with this as it seems anyone over the age of 40 is on AT LEAST blood pressure and/or cholesterol medicine. Not that there is anything categorically wrong about taking a pill, but the notion that entire subsections of the population are taking certain pills every day seems inappropriate. It seems the notion of diet and exercise lost the same fight as saving vs. borrowing--inconvenient.

     

    So I am in total agreement that the system needs drastic overhaul to the tune of massive shrinking in both scope and cost. We are not talking about someone getting shot and not being treated. Or someone getting a gash and not getting stitches. Or a broken arm not getting a cast. We are talking about chronically sick, usually elderly people receiving a disproportionate chunk of the treatments at a very high cost to the still-productive, such as yourself. We are talking about Big Business getting together with Big Government and dicking over people such as yourself. Like the banks, size and collusion are our enemies.

     

    Further intrusion is not the solution, IMO.

     

    MM

     

    6 Sep 2009, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Ed, Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (745) | Send Message
     
    Michael Clark wrote:

     

    "I didn't suggest that 'health care was a right' was in the constitution. But that's what a democracy is: it passes laws and declares rights. We can pass a law that says that 'health care is a right'. It then can be challenged in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court doesn't overturn the law, then it is a right, just like the right to bear arms, the right to free speech. That's how a society keeps its constitution alive."

     

    No, this is not how a country keeps it's constitution alive. It is how a country destroys it's constitution.

     

    Passing any law that comes to mind, then waiting to see if the politically appointed justices of the Supreme Court will overturn it is how the constitution gets trampled and distorted. It is why our government today is nothing like the founding fathers envisioned. It is why we have a government buying cars for its citizens, bailing out private companies with tax dollars, and now wanting to take control of health care.

     

    Because the founding fathers understood very well how a slight political majority could impose their tyranny on all of us, they set up a process for changing the constitution, and it requires ratification by the states.

     

    The "constitutional "work-arounds" that you prefer have helped thoroughly corrupt that process over the years, making a "game" out of the constitution, under the pretense that it needs to be a "living, breathing" document. But that just means you want to bend and twist it to your liking.

     

    If you believe there is a "right" to health care , then let us test the the limits of your idea:

     

    If health care is a "right", such as free speech, do you believe their are limits ? If so what are they ?

     

    Are you entitled to unlimited health care, regardless of the cost ? If there are cost limits under this right, what are they ? Perhaps that will be another ever-changing right. Are you entitled to have every new health care invention immediately included in your rights-- as soon as it is invented ? If not, why not ? A "right" is not subject to such arbitrary limits, is it ?

     

    You are constantly making your points based on the high costs of health care. And yet, in all of your posts, there is no argument for the 2 things that would be the most beneficial in reducing costs-- tort reform and removing the government restrictions on competition among the insurance companies.

     

    There is also no mention that the Obama administration has already made a deal with the prescription drug companies to get their support. But, according to this NYT story ( www.nytimes.com/2009/0... ) , it looks like somebody in government wants to throw that deal out. In this matter, they made a sweetheart deal to get co-operation. Now it may get tossed overboard. This is why most Americans do not want government-run health care-- The government cannot be trusted, even when they are screwing the citizens.

     

    You also neglect to mention that the vast majority of Americans (in every credible poll ) have stated that they are generally happy with their health care insurance. But you want to overturn the entire system for a small minority who cannot afford health insurance. There are better ways of correcting the problem, but the first steps are tort reform and competition-- not a takeover by the government.
    6 Sep 2009, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    That's our political system, Mr. Ed. That's the way our founders set it up. They knew the constitution was only a foundation to build on, not a finished code of laws.

     

    Clearly changing a part of the constitution is different than passing laws ('rights') to extend rights not explicitly covered in the constitution. The Voting Rights Acts of the 1960's were bills passed by Congress, signed by the President, which have not been overturned by the Supreme Court.

     

    The constitution gave almost all of its rights to land-owning white men. Are you arguing that this should still be the case? Should we still have slavery?

     

    On Sep 06 03:04 PM Mr. Ed, Jr. wrote:

     

    > Michael Clark wrote:
    >
    > "I didn't suggest that 'health care was a right' was in the constitution.
    > But that's what a democracy is: it passes laws and declares rights.
    > We can pass a law that says that 'health care is a right'. It then
    > can be challenged in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court doesn't
    > overturn the law, then it is a right, just like the right to bear
    > arms, the right to free speech. That's how a society keeps its constitution
    > alive."
    >
    > No, this is not how a country keeps it's constitution alive. It is
    > how a country destroys it's constitution.
    >
    > Passing any law that comes to mind, then waiting to see if the politically
    > appointed justices of the Supreme Court will overturn it is how the
    > constitution gets trampled and distorted. It is why our government
    > today is nothing like the founding fathers envisioned. It is why
    > we have a government buying cars for its citizens, bailing out private
    > companies with tax dollars, and now wanting to take control of health
    > care.
    >
    > Because the founding fathers understood very well how a slight political
    > majority could impose their tyranny on all of us, they set up a process
    > for changing the constitution, and it requires ratification by the
    > states.
    >
    > The "constitutional "work-arounds" that you prefer have helped thoroughly
    > corrupt that process over the years, making a "game" out of the constitution,
    > under the pretense that it needs to be a "living, breathing" document.
    > But that just means you want to bend and twist it to your liking.
    >
    >
    > If you believe there is a "right" to health care , then let us test
    > the the limits of your idea:
    >
    > If health care is a "right", such as free speech, do you believe
    > their are limits ? If so what are they ?
    >
    > Are you entitled to unlimited health care, regardless of the cost
    > ? If there are cost limits under this right, what are they ? Perhaps
    > that will be another ever-changing right. Are you entitled to have
    > every new health care invention immediately included in your rights--
    > as soon as it is invented ? If not, why not ? A "right" is not subject
    > to such arbitrary limits, is it ?
    >
    > You are constantly making your points based on the high costs of
    > health care. And yet, in all of your posts, there is no argument
    > for the 2 things that would be the most beneficial in reducing costs--
    > tort reform and removing the government restrictions on competition
    > among the insurance companies.
    >
    > There is also no mention that the Obama administration has already
    > made a deal with the prescription drug companies to get their support.
    > But, according to this NYT story ( www.nytimes.com/2009/0...
    > ) , it looks like somebody in government wants to throw that deal
    > out. In this matter, they made a sweetheart deal to get co-operation.
    > Now it may get tossed overboard. This is why most Americans do not
    > want government-run health care-- The government cannot be trusted,
    > even when they are screwing the citizens.
    >
    > You also neglect to mention that the vast majority of Americans (in
    > every credible poll ) have stated that they are generally happy with
    > their health care insurance. But you want to overturn the entire
    > system for a small minority who cannot afford health insurance. There
    > are better ways of correcting the problem, but the first steps are
    > tort reform and competition-- not a takeover by the government.
    6 Sep 2009, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    examiner.com/x-649...~y2009m6d28-Health-...

     

    There are a lot more stories like this if you want me to post them.
    It's shameful.

     

    Health insurance corruption
    June 28, 11:16 PMUS Intelligence Examiner
    Fred Burks

     

    Health insurance corruption at the top (AP Photo)
    Health insurance corruption is getting far too little media exposure. Upstanding citizens who have faithfully paid their monthly health insurance premiums for decades upon being found to have a major illness for the first time are suddenly losing their insurance based on technicalities. The corrupt HMOs are finding legal loopholes which allow them to abandon customers in their time of greatest need.

     

    A retired senior health insurance executive recently gave Senate testimony exposing major health insurance corruption in the companies he worked for, Cigna and Humana. A House subcommittee also recently held hearings exposing the dirty work of the insurance companies. Yet with the few exceptions below, these hearings got virtually no coverage. CNN even mentioned that this news of blatant corruption "got no airtime on the networks."

     

    Here's a rare, but powerful excerpt on this vital topic from a recent ABC article titled "Health Insurance Insider: 'They Dump the Sick'":

     

    Frustrated Americans have long complained that their insurance companies valued the all-mighty buck over their health care. Today, a retired insurance executive confirmed their suspicions, arguing that the industry that once employed him regularly rips off its policyholders. "[T]hey confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors," former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter said during a hearing on health insurance today before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

     

    Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations." "They look carefully to see if a sick policyholder may have omitted a minor illness, a pre-existing condition, when applying for coverage, and then they use that as justification to cancel the policy, even if the enrollee has never missed a premium payment," Potter said.

     

    Even more revealing is the CNN article titled "Health care outrage goes uncovered":

     

    The [House] subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called [a] hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage. Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud? All three health insurance executives said no. It was as dramatic as congressional testimony gets.

     

    Yet it got no airtime on the networks, nor, as far as I can tell, on cable news, although CNN.com did run a story. The story did not make The New York Times. Nor The Washington Post, which found space on the front page the morning after the hearing for a story on the cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, but not a story on the cancellation of health insurance for deathly ill Americans who've paid their premi
    6 Sep 2009, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    MM,
    Sorry for the Ignorance statement. My Bad.
    Just seemed you weren't allowing for the fact that there are/were people that have been more less fiscally responsibly and can and will at times run into unforeseen issues and problems. I didn't see, nor plan for the catastrophic mortgage/credit/housing meltdown that ensued. We had good cash reserves when this hit. They are depleting fast and the cost of my health insurance is a monster monkey on my back. I don't want free just reasonable.

     

    Take care
    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 02:58 PM mikebrah wrote:

     

    > dshark,
    >
    > Thanks for your response. But I am struggling to see where our views
    > differ and why you initially called me ignorant?
    >
    > I find your situation completely unacceptable. Nothing in my previous
    > statements suggested otherwise. I was ridiculing the notion of more,
    > more, more, and free, free, free. I think our current system is completely
    > broken and in need of drastic overhaul.
    >
    > Did you misinterpret me, did I misspeak, or have I misunderstood
    > your position in some way?
    >
    > Another poster mentioned the over-prescription syndrome that is so
    > prevalent today. I completely agree with this as it seems anyone
    > over the age of 40 is on AT LEAST blood pressure and/or cholesterol
    > medicine. Not that there is anything categorically wrong about taking
    > a pill, but the notion that entire subsections of the population
    > are taking certain pills every day seems inappropriate. It seems
    > the notion of diet and exercise lost the same fight as saving vs.
    > borrowing--inconvenient.
    >
    > So I am in total agreement that the system needs drastic overhaul
    > to the tune of massive shrinking in both scope and cost. We are not
    > talking about someone getting shot and not being treated. Or someone
    > getting a gash and not getting stitches. Or a broken arm not getting
    > a cast. We are talking about chronically sick, usually elderly people
    > receiving a disproportionate chunk of the treatments at a very high
    > cost to the still-productive, such as yourself. We are talking about
    > Big Business getting together with Big Government and dicking over
    > people such as yourself. Like the banks, size and collusion are our
    > enemies.
    >
    > Further intrusion is not the solution, IMO.
    >
    > MM
    >
    6 Sep 2009, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Careful with the name calling. Those that yell the loudest tend to know the least. I'll also ignore your ill-wishes for my future. As for the scant substance in your comment, please re-read Mr. Ed's post.

     

    MM
    6 Sep 2009, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Ed, Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (745) | Send Message
     
    Michael Clark wrote:

     

    "That's our political system, Mr. Ed. That's the way our founders set it up. They knew the constitution was only a foundation to build on, not a finished code of laws.
    Clearly changing a part of the constitution is different than passing laws ('rights') to extend rights not explicitly covered in the constitution. The Voting Rights Acts of the 1960's were bills passed by Congress, signed by the President, which have not been overturned by the Supreme Court.
    The constitution gave almost all of its rights to land-owning white men. Are you arguing that this should still be the case? Should we still have slavery?"

     

    I am not going to get into a back-and-forth on this with you, but no, this is not at all what our founders set up. Not even close. If you wish to pretend that "working around" the constitution is what they set up, you are free to believe that. But that does not make it so.

     

    And you will not find any references from our founding fathers that advocate such"work-arounds". That our political system, with much help from both parties, has allowed this to occur, is not the same as what was intended. A more careful reading of history would readily prove that.

     

    As for the nonsense about "Should we still have slavery?"....You would notice, if you had actually read the constitution, that it has been amended over the years. The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery. The change was made, not in the ways you prefer (politically corrupt politicians ramming whatever laws they can dream up down our throat), but in the manner set out by those same founding fathers that you claim wanted whatever can be sneaked through congress.

     

    It was also changes in the constitution (15th amendment), done as prescribed by our founders, that changed the voting rights for blacks. It was not done by the "Voting Rights Act", which was passed to stop the very same types of "Constitutional work-arounds" that you seem to favor.

     

    And the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

     

    All of these things that you mistakenly think were just done by "passing a law" were actually changes made to the Constitution, in the exact manner as the founding fathers intended.

     

    Please read the constitution before you try to interpret it for the rest of us.
    6 Sep 2009, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    He will get to experience the other side. Arrogance is an ego-inflation and a separation from the shadow side of one's self, the failure, the dark nature, that the ego wants to discard, oppress. But every ego-bubble pops, just as every economic-bubble pops -- and then the fallen ego gets to experience life from the other side, from the shadow's side. This is how justice in nature works.

     

    On Sep 06 03:24 PM Niner wrote:

     

    > The point is asshole, that there are alot of people that aren't as
    > lucky as my mom. The same thing has happened to them and there
    > isn't a safety net to catch them. Like my friend that works at the
    > City park. I truely hope the day comes when you get to experience
    > the reality of crappy health care first hand. It would be a great
    > wake up call for you and many others to experience it. If you wer3e
    > on the same side of the heatlh care fence as the majority of American
    > you'd be singing a different tune.
    6 Sep 2009, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • nova
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    dshark wrote:
    " It means the right to be able TO LIVE if you get sick! That plain and that simple."
    No, it is not that plain and simple. There is nothing free and simple in this world. Somebody is paying for everything.

     

    Americans have lived for a long time very good lives borrowing money all around world. Chinese, Indians, etc., worked hard long hours and saved, and Americans have spent. This arrangement is coming to the end regardless of what Obama and the Congress say.
    -------------
    " I am not asking for free health care. I just want something that I can reasonably afford to keep my 3 children and my wife and I covered without having to abandon my desire to do my own thing in life."

     

    You are correct: in America, we like to have a good lives since we used to it assuming somebody else is paying for it.

     

    Our American healthcare system is a disgrace. Unfortunately, we are living in a very corrupt society. This is our real problem. Just creating one more corrupt and useless bureaucracy will not do things any better. It will just create more fraud and waste.

     

    Presently, more than 50% of medicare funds are stolen and wasted by insurance companies, medical providers and patients it-selves.

     

    As long as issues of fraud and corruption are not address, there is nothing good on a horizon.

     

    As for Obama, he is a demagogue and a fraud. He wants to sign a healthcare bill but he even did not submit any one on his own. He wants to sign a "blank check" and screw everybody later. He wants a "public" option but he and the members of Congress will be excluded from it. Isn't it nice and fare?
    6 Sep 2009, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8359) | Send Message
     
    My consititutional law is obviously a bit rusty (and my memory is also rusty). It seems like the Constitution laid out pretty expressive rules on how the congress and presidents should pass laws. Your argument seems to be that 'laws' are not 'rights'. I don't remember an amendment to the constitution banning white-only and black-only rest rooms -- that must have been a law instead. If that means that you are saying that to make national health care a 'right' of all American citizens we would need ratify this as an amendment to the constitution, then I would support that. Clearly the constitution explicity gives Congress the right to pass laws. We could pass a law tomorrow, providing for national health-insurance; and we could ratify an amendment to the constitution, if enough voters in enough states agree, later, making it a constitutional right.

     

    Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

     

    Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

     

    On Sep 06 03:47 PM Mr. Ed, Jr. wrote:

     

    > Michael Clark wrote:
    >
    > "That's our political system, Mr. Ed. That's the way our founders
    > set it up. They knew the constitution was only a foundation to build
    > on, not a finished code of laws.
    > Clearly changing a part of the constitution is different than passing
    > laws ('rights') to extend rights not explicitly covered in the constitution.
    > The Voting Rights Acts of the 1960's were bills passed by Congress,
    > signed by the President, which have not been overturned by the Supreme
    > Court.
    > The constitution gave almost all of its rights to land-owning white
    > men. Are you arguing that this should still be the case? Should we
    > still have slavery?"
    >
    >
    > I am not going to get into a back-and-forth on this with you, but
    > no, this is not at all what our founders set up. Not even close.
    > If you wish to pretend that "working around" the constitution is
    > what they set up, you are free to believe that. But that does not
    > make it so.
    >
    > And you will not find any references from our founding fathers that
    > advocate such"work-arounds". That our political system, with much
    > help from both parties, has allowed this to occur, is not the same
    > as what was intended. A more careful reading of history would readily
    > prove that.
    >
    > As for the nonsense about "Should we still have slavery?"....You
    > would notice, if you had actually read the constitution, that it
    > has been amended over the years. The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery.
    > The change was made, not in the ways you prefer (politically corrupt
    > politicians ramming whatever laws they can dream up down our throat),
    > but in the manner set out by those same founding fathers that you
    > claim wanted whatever can be sneaked through congress.
    >
    > It was also changes in the constitution (15th amendment), done as
    > prescribed by our founders, that changed the voting rights for blacks.
    > It was not done by the "Voting Rights Act", which was passed to stop
    > the very same types of "Constitutional work-arounds" that you seem
    > to favor.
    >
    > And the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.
    >
    > All of these things that you mistakenly think were just done by "passing
    > a law" were actually changes made to the Constitution, in the exact
    > manner as the founding fathers intended.
    >
    > Please read the constitution before you try to interpret it for the
    > rest of us.
    6 Sep 2009, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • dshark
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    Nova,
    It is indeed true the Chinese are saving upwards of 10% to 30% of their income. Whoopi! That equates to about $200 to $900 a year. That is just astronomical! Most Chinese are still peasants, 90% don't have medial insurance, they don't have retirement benefits to an aging population with a limited young work force that has been tethered by gov regulations on population control. So how great
    are they going to be when modernization catches up. Social programs, education, infrastructure are costly. They provide nil at this point. They should be saving, becasue they have a world of hurt coming. We (USA) nor anyone in the rest of the world will be working for the Chinese anytime in our lifetime!

     

    I appreciate everything America has afforded me and my parents. They were both off the boat from Ireland and have done OK for themselves. I appreciate and the respect the infrastructure, the military,the education and yes the political system and just the overall demeanor and freedoms we have. My Children will do the same.

     

    I tire of sparring with nimkompoops like you.

     

    You sound very bitter and you are probably in need of therapy!
    I hope your health plan will cover it! Then when you are better please
    board a plane for China or anyplace else on the globe where you preceive it to be so ROSY!

     

    SHARK

     

    On Sep 06 03:58 PM nova wrote:

     

    > dshark wrote:
    > " It means the right to be able TO LIVE if you get sick! That plain
    > and that simple."
    > No, it is not that plain and simple. There is nothing free and simple
    > in this world. Somebody is paying for everything.
    >
    > Americans have lived for a long time very good lives borrowing money
    > all around world. Chinese, Indians, etc., worked hard long hours
    > and saved, and Americans have spent. This arrangement is coming to
    > the end regardless of what Obama and the Congress say.
    > -------------
    > " I am not asking for free health care. I just want something that
    > I can reasonably afford to keep my 3 children and my wife and I covered
    > without having to abandon my desire to do my own thing in life."
    >
    >
    > You are correct: in America, we like to have a good lives since we
    > used to it assuming somebody else is paying for it.
    >
    > Our American healthcare system is a disgrace. Unfortunately, we are
    > living in a very corrupt society. This is our real problem. Just
    > creating one more corrupt and useless bureaucracy will not do things
    > any better. It will just create more fraud and waste.
    >
    > Presently, more than 50% of medicare funds are stolen and wasted
    > by insurance companies, medical providers and patients it-selves.
    >
    >
    > As long as issues of fraud and corruption are not address, there
    > is nothing good on a horizon.
    >
    > As for Obama, he is a demagogue and a fraud. He wants to sign a healthcare
    > bill but he even did not submit any one on his own. He wants to sign
    > a "blank check" and screw everybody later. He wants a "public" option
    > but he and the members of Congress will be excluded from it. Isn't
    > it nice and fare?
    6 Sep 2009, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • ari5000
    , contributor
    Comments (365) | Send Message
     
    Obama neither has a clearly stated plan nor one that would stop spiralling costs.

     

    He's frustrated? Good. Maybe that will lead to more action/planning and less talking.

     

    Republicans: Quick to act stupidly.
    Democrats: Do nothing talkers.

     

    This government needs an enema.
    6 Sep 2009, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    He seems clueless, similar to his hasty renomination of Benjamin Salome Bernanke - - - hardly one that could call a "Change" with his "For Change" motto.

     

    Watch out for his actions, not his words.

     

    TK

     

    On Sep 06 05:14 PM ari5000 wrote:

     

    > Obama neither has a clearly stated plan nor one that would stop spiralling
    > costs.
    >
    >
    > He's frustrated? Good. Maybe that will lead to more action/planning
    > and less talking.
    >
    > Republicans: Quick to act stupidly.
    > Democrats: Do nothing talkers.
    >
    > This government needs an enema.
    6 Sep 2009, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • jack789
    , contributor
    Comments (139) | Send Message
     
    If we can get beyond hurling brickbats at one another over our age, income, mothers, lifestyles, jobs, life choices, professions, I have a couple of observations that I think are worth evaluating.

     

    One is: what is the issue with healthcare?

     

    I first remember it (my memory, I admit may be faulty) as a complaint that in the richest country in the world it is unconscionable there are 50 million Americans not covered by health insurance. Then it morphed into those horrible sad stories of those insured or unisured who lost life savings, or were denied treatment because their insurance would not cover them, or they could not pay for their care, and now it is : our economy will sink if we do not reform health care costs because they eat up to much of our GDP.

     

    Somewhere I smell a rat because every time a refutation to one of those arguments comes out, the argument and premise for the need for Health Care reform morphs into something else.

     

    Why are we even having this debate? Consider that 85% of Americans are satisfied with their health care according to numerous polls.

     

    If it’s the 50 million American’s who don’t have insurance -- guess what: that’s a lie. I think it was the first big lie - the one that started this debate . That figure comes from a Census Bureau Report 2007 and it was not 50 million but 46 million.

     

    But why quibble about the numbers?

     

    In that same report is the information 10 million of those 46M are illegal immigrants. After paring for those non-citizens we get down to x% temporarily uninsured, y% can afford it but don’t want to pay for it, z% can get it from employers but don’t want to pay their share for it, and b% eligible for help but don’t apply for it. All the numbers for those categories have been reported widely on the internet, US NEWS and World Report, etc., and basically add up to 13 - to maybe 20 million uninsured, or 2/3 % of the population. And they do get "some" health care at the emergency room. They cannot be denied if they go there when sick.

     

    In addition to the fact that 85 - 89 % of Americans are happy with their health care, golly !!! guess what? - even a majority of the "46 million" uninsured are satisfied with the health care they get ( papers.ssrn.com/sol3/p..., Uninsured Americans vs. Insured Canadians: Who is More Satisfied with Their Health Care? John R. Lott Jr. University of Maryland Foundation, University of Maryland April 27, 2009)

     

    Another question: why are Obama and the Democrats in such a hurry to get this thing done so fast anyway? They wanted it done yesterday, without debate, without scrutiny of what was on the table.

     

    But let's get back to why we are doing this: if it’s we need to and can reform to reduce costs and thereby not wreck our economy and also include those 13 million uninsured under some government taxpayer guarantee, that’s a lie too. The Congressional Budget office said so about the plans so far developed by Congress, and so have many independent analysis.

     

    If the argument is that other countries have better systems that cover more people for less cost -- that may be true re lower cost and cover more people. But they do it by rationing health care, and cutting costs by denying health care. Pure and simple, that is how they do it. And the truth is: there is no other way to do it under a system where everyone is equal and where each individual is not forced through some substantial copay system to consider carefully what it will cost him, before he makes a choice on what to "buy" and from whom to buy.

     

    Then finally there is the elephant in the room, the one no politician will speak of or confront, and which the mainstream media will not address: trial lawyers, and yes they are one of the major reasons our health care system is so expensive and so screwed up.

     

    So why is Obama in such a hurry to get this thing done so fast ? This is a subject that deserves some thought, some time, and widespread debate, and the problem of trial lawyers has to be addressed, but Obama wants to ram it down our throats right now, the same way he and Pelosi and Reid did an unread and undebated stimulus bill.

     

    The reason is obvious: because in that legislation was (and will be in the health care package) all sorts of little perks, details and entitlements we never knew about for the ideological friends of Obama, a good bit of that is also a part of his plan to fundamentaly alter our country (his words, and his promise, not mine)

     

    But he wants us to believe it won't cost us and our progeny dearly for generations to come to satisfy his whimsy for fundamentally changing us from self-reliant people to a society of dependence on Government. And I believe in fairy tales too.

     

    Also: we should have some clarity on this business of not being able to get Insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. We are talking about insurance here? You don't have a car accident and then ask for the insurance after the accident.

     

    I understand there are other circumstances where people lose, through no fault of their own, their insurance and when they try to get new insurance they find themselves denied because they have developed a condition in the interim the insurance company will not cover. Sad, and maybe we can fix that. But at least let's have some clarity about what insurance is supposed to do and pay for.

     

    But the bottom line is this: A fair society does not guarantee equal outcomes, it tries to guarantee equal opportunity, and a little extra help for the disadvantaged. But opportunity and help and outcome are not the same - outcome will depend in great part on effort, persistence, and wisdom exercised by each individual in his own self-interest.

     

    So, outside of the very question of do we really need to do this? Why is Obama in such a hurry to get this done, and why will he not address the trial lawyer problem? why does he want it jammed down our throats without debate, without visibility, when it obviously is a subject requiring much thought, research, debate and scrutiny.

     

    If he and the DEMs cannot or will not answer that, then there is a rat in there somewhere.
    6 Sep 2009, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • mikebrah
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Extremely well said, Jack.

     

    MM
    6 Sep 2009, 09:22 PM Reply Like
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