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A Reasonable Discussion on Health Care

Even our Narcissist-in-Chief, Barack Obama, is showing signs of recognition that the government takeover of Health Care in the United States is strongly opposed by the people. Opposed enough that the totalitarians who tried to shove this treachery through Congress are finding their own political careers in jeopardy, which is the sole language to which they would listen. The prospect of a major shift in Congressional control in 2010 has finally convinced the political con artists to back off this abomination just a bit.

This opens the door to a more rational discussion about Health Care, what is really needed and what can really be done. There are certain ideals which each side desires, but the practical limits offer a small range of options. Even so, an opportunity now exists to arrive at a better solution, one which is realistic and which listens to the public.

There are many special interest groups in any debate about Health Care, which is no surprise given the money concerned and the number of people affected. To begin, it should be obvious that the public will not countenance government-run Health Care. The 'single payer' option is unacceptable and the Obama Administration had better accept that fact. However, at some point it is also necessary to accept that major changes are necessary for American Health Care to remain as effective as it is today. It seems strange, given the political indifference to the blunders of Social Security and the Income Tax Code, but for once the government is a bit ahead of the curve in seeking a reformation of the industry in Health Care.

A bit of background here, and something like full disclosure. I worked for five years in Health Care, at an independent third-party administrator of medical claims. That is, it was my job to determine if an insurance claim was valid under the terms of the insurance company's contract with the medical provider, and - in order of priority - to protect the patient, medical provider, and insurance company's respective rights under the network provisions. I also performed field audits to insure compliance by medical providers and facilities with their promised levels of accessibility and performance. Also, on the other side of things I am a cancer survivor and a patient at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, having been diagnosed in 2006 with pseudomyxoma peritonei, a form of abdominal cancer - specifically known as a non-carcinoid neoplasm of the appendix. My condition is treatable but not curable, and therefore I must plan on a very long term prognosis, one which is promising but at the same time a permanent condition. Consequently, I am very familiar with the needs and concerns of those patients whose conditions are rare and unlikely to be mentioned at all in a one-size-fits-all plan. I know for a fact that neither Medicare nor Medicaid would cover the treatment for my condition, and as a result a national plan built on the foundation of Medicare would be, by definition, unacceptable to me.

That said, I do think a long and detailed discussion about what is needed and how it should be paid for is a good idea. Now that Obamacare has been clearly shown to be unacceptable, it seems appropriate to suggest a better plan. That plan, I think, would best be found by considering and addressing the patients not properly covered by the present system, and by proposing, a la carte I should think, means by which the industry might move forward, such as improving the primary-care to specialist balance among professionals and allowing patients more tax benefits for making effective use of their preventive care options. But the conversation is best served by broad participation, rather than a few dictating terms to the rest.


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Comments (80)

Amen.... (Below threshold)
epador:

Amen.

if you spent $30 MILLION a ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

if you spent $30 MILLION a day every single day for 2000 years it would still not equal to obama's $23.7 TRILLLION in financial bailouts

... the main reasons why people get poorer are because of higher taxes and inflation.

DJ:Unfortunately, th... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

DJ:
Unfortunately, those running the 'debate' and 'authoring the relevant laws' are not interested in a "more rational discussion about Health Care'.

It was all about CONTROL from the get go.

And they've done such a marvelous job with the post office!

What everything comes down ... (Below threshold)
mag:

What everything comes down to in healthcare and everything else...is that some are paying higher prices to make up for those who don't pay at all.
I am all for helping people in need, repeat...people in need...people who lost their jobs and need help in the short-term, mentally ill people who just can not take care of themselves, people with catastrophic-money draining illness, etc., but not people who make a life living off others. There are now much too many of them to ignore.
The government can not get involved because the money to take care of everyone is just not there even if they took all of our paychecks.
But a honest government could be there to watch over insurance companies to be sure they are playing fair.
But it is a major problem that will take the best of minds to figure out and right now we don't have that in our government.

Mark Steyn commented on tod... (Below threshold)

Mark Steyn commented on today's Rush Limbaugh program that single-payer healthcare is, in essence, granting the state the right to determine how we are to live, and when and how we are to die.

Thank God the American people are smart enough to know that surrendering such a basic right to the state is a very bad idea.

One more thing -- if "ending waste and fraud" is such a fundamental and significant action item with respect to health care reform, then why not introduce legislation now that primarily addresses such waste and fraud? Virtually no one would oppose it. Then after we have seen the effectiveness of these waste and fraud prevention measures, we can talk about insurance reform or overhauling medical services.

Here is a prescription for ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Here is a prescription for the healthcare industry:

There are 45 million uninsured for whatever reason that we want to cover.

1. Deport the 10-12 million illegal aliens. Especially those holding jobs that we can give to the unemployed.

2. Give those jobs to the 15 million unemployed. This may not get them all, but it will sure hit the spot, and cover mos tof them.

3. Require everyone have health care. This covers the 10-15 million that choose not to buy it.

4. This leaves us with roughly 3-13 million citizens who still don't have health care, depending on whose numbers you use. Stop here for a time and re-evaluate where we are!!!!

5. Tort reform. No more multi-million $ lawsuits for something that was not the doctor's fault. (Fraud and lack of reasonable care - go get them).

Not only does this fix a good hunk of the health care problem, but it also fixes the illegal immigration problem (or resets it at least) and we just did a number on unemployment.

Why is this so hard to understand?

My "AHA" comment came (I th... (Below threshold)
gdb in central Texas:

My "AHA" comment came (I think on Laura Ingraham) when I heard the line that the responsibility of government is to be the referee. The contract is between the individual and the entity or individual providing the health service. Anything that the government does to intrude upon the freedom to contract is an encroachment on liberty and that includes stacking the deck in favor of plaintiff attorneys.

Any modifications to health insurance reform that omit the following should be a non-starter:
1. Tort reform
2. Decoupling insurance from employment (portability)
3. Removal of insurance coverage mandates
4. Inclusion of insurance under Article IV

Finally, include a flat tax on my insurance premiums after decoupling (and tax benefit transfer to individuals) to cover indigent care (or better, catastrophic insurance vouchers).

But, the waste and fraud ha... (Below threshold)
Mr Evilwrench:

But, the waste and fraud have largely been built into the system by these same weasels, hoping to make it broken enough that there's no choice but single payer. It's been a gradual campaign since the 60's when they realized there was no way they were going to get it all at once. We still see this gradualism with obamacare (the ail for what cures us) leaving private choices something like intact, at least for now. They just want to pass something in order to ratchet us one step closer.

Boy you're naive. A reason... (Below threshold)

Boy you're naive. A reasonable discussion? In what world does this happen? When has it ever happened? Laws get enacted because one side has the votes and the will to implement their agenda... not because we all sit around and share stories.

And I think you're wrong in claiming that the public won't accept government-run health care. The public (which isn't the same as the readership here) doesn't much care about the process by which they receive health care, they care only that they get it when they want it... and the opponents of a public plan did a good job of scaring people into thinking that they wouldn't receive the health care they want and Obama wasn't able to effectively respond (clue: his attacking the critics was evidence he couldn't defend against the substance)... but given a different environment, it could be sold in the future. Given that the public is okay with government run retirement programs and government run schools, there isn't a deep philosophical aversion to 'government run'.

Obama wasn't able to eff... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Obama wasn't able to effectively respond

Obama wasn't able to respond because there is no valid response.

Obama says that we can save "hundreds of billions" by reducing fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicaid. Sounds reasonable. Why doesn't he just do it? He doesn't need any legislation to do this. Those programs are administered by a government agency headed by a cabinet officer. All he has to do is tell her to start eliminating waste and fraud the next time he sees her--probably tomorrow morning.

steve sturm: "Given that... (Below threshold)

steve sturm: "Given that the public is okay with government run retirement programs and government run schools, there isn't a deep philosophical aversion to 'government run'."

Let me fix that for ya:

Given that the public knows the government run retirement program sucks and government run schools don't work well, there is a VERY deep philosophical aversion to 'government run'."

"And I think you're wrong i... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"And I think you're wrong in claiming that the public won't accept government-run health care."

Want to lay some money on that Steve? We'll use the current poll numbers as a guide. Guess who just lost? HINT: It wasn't me.

Burrok Obama and the Senate... (Below threshold)
914_62:

Burrok Obama and the Senate want You to know what they really think:

"Just die already and get off the public dole old folks, kids and cripples."

See how easy it is to be straightforward.

If the public was so "OK" w... (Below threshold)
jim m:

If the public was so "OK" with government run retirement programs absolutely NOBODY would have an IRA.

While it is true that people don't care about the process through which they receive health care that is only because they get vastly superior care. People are justifiably worried that the quality of care will decline. EVERY socialized system has long delays in receiving care and that has a direct negative impact on survival. They also are slower to adopt the most advanced technology. Patients have to travel further to receive the kind of care they currently enjoy in the US or not get it at all.

So people are rightly concerned that the future of health care in a single payer system will suck every bit as much as in the UK or Canada or in France where 1000's died in their heat wave a couple of years ago; many of which died in hospitals where they couldn't afford to put in air conditioning.

Further more, people are concerned about a government which says we spend too much on health care when that expensive health care is 1/6th of the economy. Being that we are in a serious economic recession, capping growth in 1/6th of the economy is quite possibly the STUPIDEST idea yet floated for recovery.

"Given that the public i... (Below threshold)
apb:

"Given that the public is okay with government run retirement programs and government run schools, there isn't a deep philosophical aversion to 'government run'.

Looks like this rented mule needs the ol' 2x4 treatment. Gummint-run retirement programs are worse than broke because the crooks running the gummint undercut the programs and used the money elsewhere.

As for the school system, well, it's crap. The system churns out illiterates and financial incompetents by the carload. Just another union giveaway.

For starters the government... (Below threshold)
kathie:

For starters the government could encourage individuals to buy their own insurance with a tax deduction or rebate. Now that would be a big change!

Individuals must be able to buy plans across state lines.

Then I would encourage states to enact tort reform.

Then I would take a breath

"...improving the primary-c... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"...improving the primary-care to specialist balance among professionals..."

An admirable goal, but does anyone have a clue how it could be done? We could use a lot more GPs and fewer botox injecting plastic surgeons, but how, in a free country do you get it to happen?

Actually Rance, there I thi... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Actually Rance, there I think that Obama had a good idea. HR 3200 included a provision for grants to be given to primary-care medical students, and for tax benefits as well.

Also, the AMA needs to get more involved in defining 'regular and customary' levels of preventive care. A lot of insurance variability in coverage for preventive actions comes from lack of consensus on the effectiveness of things like colonoscopies and prostate examinations. Ironically, there is a consensus in the AMA on mammograms but not prostate exams, even though there is roughly the same amount of empirical data supporting each.

Rance -You won't h... (Below threshold)
apb:

Rance -

You won't have the GP's because they can't possibly make enough coin to pay for malpractice insurance. Even specialists are ducking out - there is an existing problem with disappearing OB-Gyns due to massive increases in insurance. Sure, they can get $250K+/year in income; why bother when you need to shell out $120K in insurance after your $50K in income taxes?

Answer: Tort reform.

C'mon guys, you can cite su... (Below threshold)

C'mon guys, you can cite surveys all you want but your doggun anti-guvmint rhetoric isn't supported by the facts on the ground.

People might complain about government run schools and the government run retirement program... but only in the abstract as (with exceptions) they're more than willing to send their kids to public schools and are counting on that government run retirement program to support them in retirement... inconsistent? sure, just as is complaining about congress and re-electing them at a 90%+ rate. likewise, we can complain about the fannie and freddies, but they're the largest providers of mortgages... no aversion to government run, there? people aren't buying chevys and chryslers because their cars such, not because they've become wards of the state. the military doesn't lose recruits because they don't want to have to deal with government run health care while in the military. the public cares only about the end result, not the process by which that result is provided.

And the current polls only indicate that the public doesn't like what is currently being proposed by the people proposing it and in the way they're proposing it. Keep in mind that the public was in favor before details came out. The elderly oppose it because of fears that their medicare benefits would be cut, not because they don't want the public to get what they've been receiving.

I have no doubt the public cares so little about the process by which their medical care is paid for that a restructured pitch (without the controversial lightning rods) with different pitchmen (perhaps, in a nixon goes to china, by a republican) may well be accepted by the public. having said that, I don't know how to structure that bet.

Steve Sturm -Let's... (Below threshold)
apb:

Steve Sturm -

Let's not be disingenuous here - people make an economic decision on public schools. Property holders are soaked in taxes where I live - if you're already shelling out $10K/year in property taxes with 75% going to schools, what is the likelyhood you'll shell out another $7500 per child for private school? Is it even possible?

Vouchers haven't passed because you'd see a tremendous attempt to escape the school system. Problem there is, there isn't enough quantity of alternative education centers due to gummint monopoly through financial manipulation.

As for re-election of Congress-crud, I'd point more to massive incompetence of voters. An informal single question of 20 people at a local 4th of July parade showed 20 people that knew nothing of Cap and Trade. Of the same 20, 20 also didn't know that our local Rep was Debbie (Dumbass) Halvorson...

"preventive care"E... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"preventive care"

Empirical and peer review studies have shown that "preventive care" is more expensive (increased costs). You cannot test everyone for everything. When symptoms are indicative of some disease, or you have a family history or disposition to certain diseases, "preventative care" takes on a whole new meaning. I had a rectal exam 10 years ago. The doctor felt polyps. I had a colonoscopy. Benign. Does that mean I NEED a colonoscopy every 5 years? They're not cheap!

Grants for medical students is fine. But keep the 'racial quota' crap out of it. And if Democrats are involved, you can damned well bet that will be in there.

We need tort reform. We need people to OWN their own policies. Health Care insurance companies should not be precluded from selling across state lines. We also need to revamp exactly what constitutes "insurance". Auto "insurance" doesn't replace worn tires or worn wiper blades. Homeowners "insurance" doesn't cover burned out light bulbs or a broken door latch. Obama 'wants' competition and lower costs. WELL LET THE FREAKING COMPANIES COMPETE!

There is no reason why "unemployment insurance" could not also have a health insurance component. Those with "pre-existing" conditions could be covered by ALL of the Health Care insurance companies pooling the risk for this particular group. After all, if you have no auto insurance and you wreck your car, no auto company is going to write a policy to fix that damage. You have no home insurance, your house burns down, you can't buy a policy the next day and expect the insurance company to replace that home. Those examples above are 'pre-existing conditions'. People who try to get their damages fixed by hiding it and then getting a policy are normally convicted of fraud. However, in health care issues, those with such conditions are either denied coverage, or can only get it at HIGH premiums. Which makes sense, you come in saying "I've got cancer and I want a health insurance policy"; don't you think the insurance company is going to say "well, we KNOW we're gonna pay here."
We need health care insurance that covers "catastrophic costs", not every simple malady that comes along. It should also cover an annual eye exam and a yearly dental exam. YOU PICK YOUR POLICY, WHAT IT COVERS, and how much you have to pay up front over the course of a year. Once you hit YOUR magic number (and your policy cost is partially based on this number) - say $5K of accrued costs, your insurance pays the balance for the rest of the year. People SHOULD have health insurance. BUT you cannot legislate intelligence.

Drug companies are another issue. Yes they need a return on investment. To pay their investors and to conduct research into new products. But in this instance, "how much" is "a fair rate of return"? Personally, I don't think TV advertising should be factored into the 'cost'. Advertising in medical journals is another matter, but again, how long do you advertise once the drug is recognized and established? There are only so many years a new drug is 'protected' by patent. Companies know what the develop costs were, companies also know how big the market is for a specific drug. They know their 'market share'. Seems it would be easy to determine a 'fair price' with all that information.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

DJ.I share your ca... (Below threshold)
BarbL:

DJ.

I share your cancer diagnosis of PMP and remember you from the PMPBB site.

Just to corrrect what I think are some misconceptions. Medicare and Medicaid both have paid for the MOAS (Cytoreductive surgery + HIPEC) with specialists. Sugabaker accepts medicare and has done some medicaid cases, as have other doctors who specialize in this disease. I am 12 years out since diagnosis and am doing fine with no signs of cancer. I don't think you can say that there is no cure. People who are 20+ yrs out and disease free (and there are a number of those) may well consider themselves cured.... and rightly so.

BarbL, great to hear you ar... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

BarbL, great to hear you are doing well and thanks for remembering me. My point was that a number of options, like MDA's use of mitomycin to inhibit tumor growth in order to avoid surgery, would not be covered by Medicare and similar plans, because the requisite threshold numbers of trial patients could not possibly be reached. Also, since the cause of PMP has never been clearly ascertained, there can never be a cure per se, since few would consider debulking or the Sugarbaker procedure to be nominal courses of treatment - they are by definition radical because there are few effective options. The key is that what research has been done on PMP has all been by private companies, such as Merck and UHC, and we cnanot hope for the government to fund research for a disease which afects less than 500 people worldwide at any time.

Sturm, I feel sorry... (Below threshold)

Sturm,
I feel sorry for you. Those who do not learn
lessons from history are going to relive it.
As to what is happening to the health care
situation in this country. It is not an
inherent right to health care anymore than it
is to a new car or a new house that someone else pays for through taxation.
And remember one thing, medicine is not about
rationing or saving money it's about saving lives. When society decides to put a monetary value on a life because any set of circumstances it devalues all of us.
There is no compassion, dignity, respect, or esteem in what is being introduced to the citizens of this nation. We've become neutralized, just a number with no soul or spirit.
And apparently you have no idea of what we are
losing in the way of freedom. But then again
your goal in life may be live in a government box cradle to grave.

GarandFan said:... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

GarandFan said:

Seems it would be easy to determine a 'fair price' with all that information.

Or, we could just let the market dictate the price.

There must be some reason why drug companies advertise. No one in their right mind would insist on a drug they'd heard about on TV after their doctor told them it wasn't right for them. Maybe it really is as simple as getting the information to the public.

But, what difference does it make? As I've said before, if there's one place we shouldn't be screwing around with the free market, it's innovation. I want drug companies to get wildly, unbelievably, disgustingly rich if they're able to find cancer cures. Or, for that matter, cures for congestive heart failure, or Alzheimers, or muscular dystrophy or male pattern baldness or fungal toenail. Why else would they put up coin for a very high risk, long term investment?

iwogisdead:Yeah, but... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

iwogisdead:
Yeah, but when you read about A pill that costs $89.00, you've got to begin to wonder. I've been told over the years 'that a seller will charge what the market will bear'. Which explains why retailers can have 'sales' with 'reduced prices'.

Sorry about the double post... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Sorry about the double post there. Don't know how it happened.


Steve Sturm-

You are deluded if you think that this is just that people aren't happy with the current spin. People want to be able to choose freely. If they have the choice they choose private schools for their kids. I don't see Obama's kids going to public school. He has a choice.

Obama has also voiced his choice about the public option. He chooses not to subject his family to it.

Only a total ass thinks that Public schools are the best choice and government health care is the best choice when the people who run these things are fleeing from them. If these things were so good then they'd be using them themselves.

Truth is that people really do care about how things are run and who makes the decisions. People want to be able to make the decisions for themselves.

Well Steve, it looks like t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Well Steve, it looks like the Dems believe that you are right.

They believe that it's just that they haven't spun their crap ideas well enough so they are preparing to shove socialized medicine on us regardless of the cost according to the AP.

GarandFan said:... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

GarandFan said:

iwogisdead:
Yeah, but when you read about A pill that costs $89.00, you've got to begin to wonder. I've been told over the years 'that a seller will charge what the market will bear'. Which explains why retailers can have 'sales' with 'reduced prices'.

If you need the $89 pill to stay alive, then you will pay whatever the cost to get it no matter what, and maybe then the $89 is too high and maybe unfair.

On the other hand, if a price of $70 per pill is so low that there is not enough return for such a risky and long term investment, and then, no one would invest in developing the drug, and the drug wouldn't be developed, and so you'd die anyway, then the $89 would be cheap.

Which is more fair--paying $89 per pill to stay alive, or capping the pill at $70, not having the pill at all, and dying?

I don't know all the statistics, but I do know that a lot of money and effort get put into dead ends in research and innovation. That money and effort is simply lost. Why do they continue to do it? Because, if they are able to develop that one drug that can cure some widespread disease, the payoff is fantastic. I do not believe it is wise to discourage risky investments by capping prices on new drugs.

Without a doubt, there is unfairness in the free market. Ultimately, however, the question is, who do you want making decisions about the price of drugs--a government board made up of political hacks who put some Obama signs in their yards, or the free market?

One wonders how much of the $89 goes into product liability insurance, absurdly complicated FDA approval compliance, etc., etc.

Just my $89 worth.

Massachusetts has 'single ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Massachusetts has 'single payer' health care. The state runs everything. It was going to 'pay for itself'. It now finds that it's running out of money, and people find that a 4 month 'wait' to see a specialist is 'normal'. Welcome to ObamaCare. Hawaii has tired injecting the state into health insurance, to cover those 'without'. It's also running out of money because so many signed up for it. Seems it was cheaper than their own health care insurance.

Cost less? Cost savings? In your dreams.

iwogisdeadThere ar... (Below threshold)
jim m:

iwogisdead

There are inequities in the free market, but they get taken care of quicker than hey do in a command economy.

Not only will the market encourage innovation, but the opposite is true: Government control stifles innovation. There are precious few medical innovations that have come from socialized medicine. Not only do we foster a robust corporate research climate, but universities produce countless ideas which private investment them brings to the market. With a socialized system, this activity goes away since the government cannot provide the funding that private equity can and socialized medicine removes any profit incentive.

So you can have your universal access but kiss goodbye any hope for cures for cancer, alzheimers and virtually everything else.

Garandfan - You forgot Oreg... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Garandfan - You forgot Oregon.

thanks jim....senior moment... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

thanks jim....senior moment.

iwogisdead - yeah I realize there's a lot going on with drug development. But the drug companies got that $89 figure somehow.

And the FDA can be a bitch. But on one occasion their plodding saved a lot of misery in the US. Remember the 'wonder drug' Thalidomide? It was all the rage in Europe. For about 18 months.

"to protect the patient, me... (Below threshold)
Larry Dickman:

"to protect the patient, medical provider, and insurance company's respective rights under the network provisions."

Bullshit. You mean to save the insurance companies money.

The top 10 insurance companies profits have gone up 450% since 2001.

Profits. 13 billion in profits a year. And that's just for the top ten. There's thousands of others.

Profits off people's pain and suffering. Soulless vampires.

13 billion that we paid for heath care . . . that did not go to health care. And that doesn't include overhead. Like underwriters.

We pay the insurance companies to hire people to deny our claims. People like you.

And get off the notion that our nation won't stand for single-payer health care. We have it. Medicare. Veterans.

You must want to get rid of the Nazi "Social" Security, as well. It's single payer.

Nevertheless, it's coming. You did such a shitty job of running the country for 6 years that your group of morons have been marginalized to a "Southern and rural party" to quote your own party.

Oh, god! Profits! AAAGH! ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Oh, god! Profits! AAAGH! PROFITS! INSURANCE COMPANIES MAKING PROFITS! FOR THEIR SHAREHOLDERS! OH, THE TRAGEDY! OH, THE HUMANITY! OH, THE HORROR! HOW DARE THEY ACTUALLY MAKE A SINGLE PENNY! WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THEY THINKING OF! HOW CAN THEY DO THAT! OUT OF A HEALTH CARE ECONOMY OF $2 TRILLION PLUS, THEY'RE MAKING LESS THAN 1%! TeH eEVILITY OF IT ALL IS TeH HORRIFIYING!!!11!!!

NO COMPANY THAT PROVIDES WHAT PEOPLE NEED SHOULD EVER BE RUN AT A PROFIT! HOME DEPOT AND LOWES AND KROGER AND PUBLIX ALL SHOULD BE RUN AT A LOSS! IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE FAIR! AND FAIRNESS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BY FAR, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN EFFECTIVE!

/RANT

Now that's off my chest...

Dickman - you're stupid. Or gullible as hell. Maybe both - or you're being deliberately obtuse.

Perhaps you see some inherent virtue in a business running at a loss, but I guarantee the owners and shareholders don't. You ever go to a store or business or restaraunt that you've been patronizing for a while - only to find it's closed for good? If there is no profit, the service goes away or is scaled back until it DOES become profitable.

And government CANNOT pick up the slack. The money is simply not there. We're $12 TRILLION in debt - and Obama's on schedule to add $1.8 TRILLION to that this year. We're maxed out on the friggin' credit cards, man, and BARELY paying the minimums each month. And don't look to the 'tax the rich' meme to bail you out - all of Bill Gate's fortune would barely be a drop in the bucket, and there ain't many of HIM around to rip off.

They're promising unicorns and rainbows in exchange for massive inflation, misery and poverty down the line - and you're jumping up and down eager to sign on! I repeat - you ARE stupid AND gullible!

As far as Social Security goes - It's not broke. It wasn't broke when Bush attempted reform, all those wise DEMOCRATS were telling us it was just fine, didn't need changing, it'd be good for the foreseeable future. They stopped any sort of reform - so blame THEM if it goes bust!

By the way, re profits... Walmart made a profit of $12 bil on $378 billion in sales. State Farm made $5 bil on $61 bil in sales. Companies who make profits and know what they're doing can expand - and provide more for the people who use their services.

If you want 'altruistic' health care, run at a loss - try England or Canada.

But don't try making the insurance companies out to be the villians - we're seeing who the bad guys are - they're the ones who want to grab it ALL.

I was going to say somethin... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I was going to say something in response to the unfathomably ignorant statement of Larry, but that seems to have been done quite well already.

Thank You

" Well Steve, it looks like... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" Well Steve, it looks like the Dems believe that you are right.

They believe that it's just that they haven't spun their crap ideas well enough so they are preparing to shove socialized medicine on us regardless of the cost according to the AP. "

I think everyone is being a bit too harsh with Steve. The fact is there is a big, and growing, chunk of Americans who are on the dole already or are brainwashed into thinking they 'deserve' to be on the dole.

I think we're close to the tipping point where there are too many 'gimme gimme's' with their hand out to overcome.

We have to redouble our efforts at Tea Parties, Townhalls and somehow, someway get the dinosaur GOP off its duff and fight this.

We have to say 'no!' to increased govt interference in healthcare and propose a few reasonable, REAL reforms.
Some good ideas have been proposed already in this thread. We have to push those ideas.

It's still possible that some single-payer or socialized medicine law could be passed this year. Don't think it can't happen. We haven't won yet.

By the way, Dickman - appar... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

By the way, Dickman - apparently folks are starting to run the numbers on Social Security, and it's not adding up. Don't count on Social Security being a major funding source...

Bachus discusses Social Security, health care | TuscaloosaNews.com | The Tuscaloosa News | Tuscaloosa, AL

"Social Security could face default within two years," U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus predicted here Tuesday. "The situation is much worse than people realize, especially because of the problems brought on by the recession, near depression.

"That's not been on the board -- people don't seem to know that," Bachus, the ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services, said in a wide-ranging interview with the Tuscaloosa News Editorial Board. "What this recession has done to Social Security is pretty alarming.

"We've known for 15 years that we were going to have to make adjustment to Social Security, but we still through that was seven or eight years down the road," he said. "But if things don't improve very quickly, we're going to be dealing with that problem before we know it."
By the way - don't EVEN try blaming THAT on Bush. The Democrats blocked his attempts at reform, even giving themselves a MASSIVE round of applause - congratulating themselves on just how they managed to stick it to Bush!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mqSXsNJzRM

But you know something? Bush isn't the only one they stuck it to. A whole lot of people are looking at Social Security for their retirements, and they won't look too kindly on the party that screwed them over.

Where's the money going to come from to fix THIS, Dickman?

1. Wholesale lots of unicorn shit on EBay?
2. Magic Money Tree in White House backyard?
3. Tax The Rich?

Congrats, bub. The credit cards are maxed out, there's no money in the checking account, and now the car's making a rather expensive sound. Yeah, you were told to not spend everything you earn, to put some away in savings... but hell, there was that new TV and stereo, and dinners with your friends, and vacations, and the credit card companies just kept sending you offers...

A reasonable discussion? On... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

A reasonable discussion? Only in FairlyLand.

Even our [insert ad hominem attack], Barack Obama, is showing signs of recognition that the [insert blatant lie] of Health Care in the United States is [insert gross exaggeration].

It was a joke headline, right?

Vic

Learn how Obamacare will im... (Below threshold)

Learn how Obamacare will impact the medical sales industry by causing the loss of thousands of jobs in medical sales. you may join this discussion on our blog at http://www.gorillamedicalsales.com/blog

Hey 'medsearch', I work on ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Hey 'medsearch', I work on a lot of pharmaceutical accounts and every single one of them are scaling back their sales forces on the ground in the United States and are currently looking into whether it would also make sense to do so in Canada. Why? Because it makes zero fucking sense to pay someone with a BSc. $80,000/year to drive around in a company car dropping off samples to physicians who don't want to listen to them. And, even for those doctors who do rely on reps for information, they can now turn to e-detailing at their own convenience rather than wait for you to show up with a bag of samples and pamphlets and a fake smile. Samples can be ordered directly, and information is now all online. You are redundant.

Big Pharma knows it's going to be able to suck less blood out of the American healthcare system and its own sales reps will be the first to feel the pain. What, did you think shareholders would accept smaller dividends rather than force some of you people out of work?

There are a lot of stakeholders in this conversation that are worth listening to, but pharmaceutical sales representatives are not among them. If/when your job disappears, you should use your scientific background to go into research and contribute something to your society.

Hyper -Drive-by sp... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

Drive-by spammers suck, don't they?

By the way, re samples and such... the spouse is an oncology research coodinator, Master's in nursing, 15 years in the field. NOBODY where she works, (a large hospital doing clinical trials) no matter the political persuasion, is at all looking forward to any sort of health care reform by Obama. With the recession alone they've seen a scale-back of clinical trials - and they don't think it'll be any better when government takes it over. The general consensus seems to be nobody inside the Beltway has an actual clue when it comes to what the health system needs.

Add in Social Security insolvency, $1.8 tril deficit this year on top of a $12 tril debt, and we're rapidly looking at a situation where we might WANT reform, but there's no way in hell we can realistically AFFORD it.

(Sure, you can look at that nice and shiny car, $80k on the showroom floor, and think it's a real STEAL when it's marked down to $70k - but when you're making $35k/year, there's no way in hell you can afford it, afford the insurance, afford to pay the bills, eat and keep a roof over your head. You'll go with something cheaper - even if it's nowhere near as shiny.)

I've met a lot of pharma sa... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I've met a lot of pharma sales reps, JL, and they are not good people: not interested in assisting physicians with patient care and treatment, but only in increasing market share for their oftentimes inferior products--or, even worse, products that are available in inexpensive generic format. Get rid of these leeches, industry-sponsored CMEs, and direct-to-consumer advertising, and hey, Big Pharma companies might have to compete based on the merits of their drugs and not the creativity and perniciousness of their marketers and sales reps.

Anyway... Yes, I agree that your country's economy is totally ruined. Do you know who the main culprit is? It's not the government, though the government (both parties) is of course complicit--it's Goldman Sachs. If you have half an hour to read that article, I suggest you do it--and then I suggest you buy a pitchfork and a torch and pay a visit to Goldman Sachs, whose investment bankers have caused greater ruin to your country than Nazis, Communists, welfare queens, unions, the KKK, Dixiecrats, Confederates, Hirohito, Yoko Ono, and Hollywood combined.

Hyper -We've gotte... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

We've gotten a few trips out of the big pharma (actually, middlin' & startup pharma) when they were pushing angiogenisis inhibitors and trials ten years back or so. And they still bring lunches every so often, so they ain't ALL bad...

Re "Rolling Stone" articles... well, I'm not terribly convinced they're up on what's going on where, except maybe in the music industry. Kind of like the local alternative paper going on about the evils of chlorine in the city water system - yes, I know chlorine is poisonous, but I'll take the very slight risk of problems from that over a chance of cholera or dysentery any day of the week. Whenever someone says a particular group is the "major source of everything from the Great Depression to sour milk, and it's all part of a big plan, man!", I usually try to back away slowly, nodding and agreeing...

Yep, good article there. I'll be sure to pass it on... (turns and runs like hell to the exit...)

Nah, really, our politicians are more than capable of screwing it up on their own without some Illuminati-style conspiracy with the Masons, financed by the Bilderbergs, communicated through the H.A.A.R.P. mind control setup... All it takes is a mindset that refuses to look at results beyond the next election - and *bing*! You're there...

Tort Reform - certainly thi... (Below threshold)
epador:

Tort Reform - certainly this needs to be addressed, but tort is not the way to fix medical errors, as implied by a few posters above. Health Care reform that addresses a change in culture will improve efficiency and make health care safer for patient and providers.

Costs:

1) Insurance being required works so great for autos - lets do it for health care too (sarcasm).

2) Catastrophic coverage can be uncoupled from expected costs: a) Preventive Care and self-limited conditions- immunizations, routine exams, cancer/cholesterol screening, obstetric care, sprains and small cuts - these can be managed by one system of payment/cost sharing that employed individuals can significantly contribute to (without "insurance") and choose how to spend, hopefully wisely. The cost sharing pool does not need to be large, as the costs are fairly predictable and can be budgeted as a cost of living. Look at most Dental Insurance - it typically pays 50% of costs and the premiums pretty much parallel the pay-outs for most folks.
b) Catastrophic or severe chronic illnesses/injuries that require more than a certain amount (for argument's sake, lets say the cost of a new Ford F-150 pimped to the max, which is a different kind of catastrophe), require a larger pool to share the burden. Whoever holds the purse-strings for the catastrophic coverage is going to want to have a say in how that money is disbursed. If there is some competition for membership in the pools, then a variety of approaches (from stingy but cheap to liberal and expensive) can market themselves to people and compete for their participation. A single payor system will suffer from bureaucratic inertia and be stingy and expensive.

3) Whether catastrophic or preventive/routine care, if most individuals have no direct control over the money spent, the system will not respond with cost-savings that individuals want.

Provider Supply:

Its nice to give medical students who say they want to be FP's vouchers, but most medical students change their plans for the future as they discover medicine through training before and after medical school, as well as experience the financial impact of their education. I recommend paying FP's and Pediatricians as much as or more than specialists and sub-specialists if you want more FP's and Pediatricians. Doc's as a whole go where the money is. Payment reform is needed. Training a good FP takes a year or two less than a specialist/sub/specialist, but the time it takes to learn to be a good FP is long after the time residency is finished. Financially rewarding those who stay in Primary Care practice longer with some form of bonus payment tied to quality measures would really strengthen our Primary Care forces.

We train many Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to provide primary care - they tend to work places that can't afford or attract MD's or DO's - but their skills and scope of care are limited by the reduced training they receive (which also is reflected by their salaries, which are about 1/2 to 2/3 of an FP). If you are a clinic director, and you want to make money, you want as many mid-level practitioners seeing as many patients as possible for preventive and routine care. You also want as few chronic, complex patients that require physicians as you can, as they slow down productivity. At least with current reimbursement patterns.

Hyper -BTW, things... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

BTW, things starting to settle down for you at work a bit?

Epador -I haven't ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Epador -

I haven't seen my doctor in about five years now - I keep getting appointments with the PA and NP. They pronounce me fit enough to last another year, urge me to get a colonoscopy (yerg...) and renew my 'preventative' blood pressure medication prescription.

Works well enough for me...

"..then I suggest you buy a... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"..then I suggest you buy a pitchfork and a torch and pay a visit to Goldman Sachs.."

Well, they shouldn't be hard to find.
How many are in the Obama admin or involved with Obama's 'czars' or are administering the monstrous 'Bailouts'? Quite a few.

VIC, If You ever hit... (Below threshold)
914_62:

VIC,
If You ever hit positive vote tally numbers You will have experienced a "senior moment."

I have not been to a doctor or dentist for 30+ years.. Am I due for a golden parachute or some other reward for not passing unneeded debt onto someone else?

$100,000 would do fine right now. I will call it "cash for Rolls Royce's."

#44Agreed!... (Below threshold)
914_62:

#44

Agreed!

"Actually Rance, there I th... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Actually Rance, there I think that Obama had a good idea."-djd

Oh, shit! Katie bar the door!

:o)

I'm not knocking mid-levels... (Below threshold)
epador:

I'm not knocking mid-levels. I have supervised many over the years that do excellent jobs. But when they are without a physician to fall back on for questions, they have a rough time providing quality care to complex folks. A good NP takes about 3-5 years out of school (unless they do a residency or had extensive prior training and experience, which few do) before they have their sea legs, however. If they are trying to run things all on their own (one of the HR3200 notions) it can get scary even with a seasoned NP there. No worse than sending a doc fresh out of their FP residency to Nome with no backup, but scary all the same. Its possible for a kid to get her RN at a local community college with a few hours on the Med/Surg floor during clinical rotations, go straight to NP school and come out with a degree and a job all on their own in the middle of nowhere.

Yeah JL, we got a lot of re... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah JL, we got a lot of reports out the door and clients are coming back with follow-up requests as they always do but seem happy for the most part. In the meantime there are proposals to be written and seminars to snooze through, but it's not as hectic as the past few weeks. Spent a few days up at Gravenhurst, floating around a lake and drinking beer. The Muskokas have got to be the nicest part of North America when the sun is shining in the summertime.

Les (and JL), I know Matt Taibbi is a liberal who writes for Rolling Stone, but it's the best explanation of the financial crisis that I've ever read and he has no love for Democrats. The main villain in the story (apart from the faceless evil of Goldman Sachs itself) is Rubin, Clinton's man.

My favourite passage:

That summer, as the presidential campaign heated up, the accepted explanation for why gasoline had hit $4.11 a gallon was that there was a problem with the world oil supply. In a classic example of how Republicans and Democrats respond to crises by engaging in fierce exchanges of moronic irrelevancies, John McCain insisted that ending the moratorium on offshore drilling would be "very helpful in the short term," while Barack Obama in typical liberal-arts yuppie style argued that federal investment in hybrid cars was the way out.

This is good too:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

dick[less]man - "The t... (Below threshold)
Marc:

dick[less]man - "The top 10 insurance companies profits have gone up 450% since 2001. Profits. 13 billion in profits a year. And that's just for the top ten. There's thousands of others."

Well now, at least we know you get your obama talking points memo in time.

Are These "Evil For-Profit Health Insurance Companies" Really So Evil? Lets have a peek:

Aetna Inc. (AET):

* Revenue: $32.67 Billion
* Profit Margin: 3.85%
* Net Profit: $1,257,795,000

Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH):

* Revenue: $84.27 Billion
* Profit Margin: 4.14%
* Net Profit: $3,488,778,000

Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC):

* Revenue: $8.89 Billion
* Profit Margin: 2.63%
* Net Profit: $233,807,000

"Evil doers" making less than 5 percent profit, hell Microsoft's profit margin is 24.93%, WallMart's is less than 4 percent at 3.31%.

More from dick[less] - "And get off the notion that our nation won't stand for single-payer health care. We have it. Medicare. Veterans. You must want to get rid of the Nazi "Social" Security, as well. It's single payer."

More democrat strategery at play there... some endorsement there nitwit with the exception of the Vet Admin all are broke, vastly underfunded and infested with corruption.

"Nevertheless, it's coming. You did such a shitty job of running the country for 6 years that your group of morons have been marginalized to a "Southern and rural party" to quote your own party."

Funny, you didn't provide a link to that alleged quote, would you care to or would you rather scurry off to the DKos Kiddies like you normally do?

And BTW as for someone being marginalized, better take a peek at the latest numbers, in 47 of the 50 states more people identify themselves as conservative than they do libturds.

Here's the bottom line: Har... (Below threshold)

Here's the bottom line: Hardcore Dems won't sign a bill without a public otpion, Hardline Republicans won't agree to a bill with a public option. And now the dems say that the Rep won't make any concessions. That's because there are no concessions to make. There are two polar ideas here, and there can never be any middle ground. You either want public, or don't want public. the problems the Dems have is that they are screaming that without a public option, there can be no reform, which is a lie. tehre are so many ways to "reform" healthcare without tearing it down and rebuilding it. But the Dems won't even consider these options, like allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines or tort reform, because (all together now), the DEMS DON'T CARE ABOUT OUR HEALTH! They only care about control of our lives and our money. if Dems cared about our health, they would consider other ways of reform. But the only thing that gives them the control they want is a public plan.
Visit me at www.notjustaboringdentist.com

Marc: And BTW as for som... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Marc: And BTW as for someone being marginalized, better take a peek at the latest numbers, in 47 of the 50 states more people identify themselves as conservative than they do libturds.

Who cares? And do you really give equal weight to, say, Idaho, as to New York?

Brad: They only care about control of our lives and our money.

...whereas insurance companies only want control of one of those things, and are completely and utterly disinterested in the other.

Who cares? And do you re... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Who cares? And do you really give equal weight to, say, Idaho, as to New York?

Well, that Senate thingy does. Or, are you one of these people who want to do away with the Senate?

Larry Dickman said:<p... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Larry Dickman said:

And get off the notion that our nation won't stand for single-payer health care. We have it. Medicare. Veterans.

No, we don't. People on Medicare and veterans are not limited to use of only government funding for their treatment.

The 'single payer'... (Below threshold)
Tina S:
The 'single payer' option is unacceptable and the Obama Administration had better accept that fact.

Jay, a 'single payer' option has never been on the table. Did you mean 'public' option?

tina s - "Jay, a 'singl... (Below threshold)
Marc:

tina s - "Jay, a 'single payer' option has never been on the table. Did you mean 'public' option?"

And there's a difference?

Who'd a thunk it.

P.S. you really need to update your brain cavity by reviewing obama's and many of his czars and advisers saying a single payer system is both desirable but the long term goal.

Asshat.

hyper - "Who cares? And... (Below threshold)
Marc:

hyper - "Who cares? And do you really give equal weight to, say, Idaho, as to New York?"

Um, yes.

So you rell me asshat, if the numbers prove out on an election day what would you guess the outcome to be?

An election that chooses a president of 3 states?

If you hadn't noticed a butt load of dems in both the House and Senate are getting whacked in the polls and may very well be out on their frickin ass come nov 2010.

Not to mention, a failed health care bill AND an economy that continues to falter under the wait of enormous housing defaults, potential inflation and unemployment that stays at the 9-10 percent level obama will be out on his ass as well.

Tina S said:Jay... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Tina S said:

Jay, a 'single payer' option has never been on the table. Did you mean 'public' option?

Ya wanna bet? How about all those videos of (to name a few) Obama, Barney Frank, and Jan Schakowsky saying that single payer is the goal of health care reform? Do you need some links?

Say, what do you think of single payer? Good idea?

iwogisti,How ab... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

iwogisti,

How about all those videos of (to name a few) Obama, Barney Frank, and Jan Schakowsky saying that single payer is the goal of health care reform?

Is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-bY92mcOdk the video you are referring to ?

I find the following a bit suspicous:

1. Fast forward the video to 28 seconds. According to the video, Obama was speaking on 3/24/07 at a SEIU Health Forum. If you check the news releases on SEIU's website, there is no mention of such an event.

http://www.seiu.org/press/releases.php

2. Fast forward to 45 seconds. Notice that as the clip starts the voice is out of synch with his mouth. Two seconds latter his mouth is blocked by a message that appears accross the video.

No, iwog, I just think that... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No, iwog, I just think that a poll--a presently uncited poll, at that (Marc--you making shit up?)--which concludes that the United States is a conservative country because 47 States have a majority that identifies as "conservative" is meaningless for several reasons.

1) What's a conservative? It's not a corporatist Republican. It's not a neoconservative. I like to think that conservatives aren't boastfully ignorant like Sarah Palin, and they surely aren't the sort of people who divorce their dying wives like Newt Gingrich. Calling yourself a "conservative" doesn't make you one, any more than wearing a shirt with a hammer and sickle on it makes you a member of the Communist Party. In short: asking someone whether they are "liberal" or "conservative" is the wrong way to go about determining whether they are in fact liberal or conservative. Case in point: old people at the Tea Party who use Medicare and claim to oppose government intervention in healthcare. They aren't conservative, or liberal: they're morons, and they vote purely out of self interest and have no principles.

2) If the three largest States were dominantly "liberal", but the other 47 were only marginally "conservative", then the numbers are misleading at best and false in all honesty.

3) Hard to take a poll seriously when the person who mentioned it doesn't provide a link, where we can examine the internals and decide whether it's legitimate or biased.

Marc: nothing in the bill suggests that your country is headed for a single payer system. A public option--like they have in Switzerland, as opposed to what we have in Canada or Britain--is what's on the table. Nobody likes a liar, so don't be one. Nobody is voting on what Obama or Barney Frank want--they're voting on a bill that was written by a bunch of people who are certainly more pragmatic than either of those "elitists" that you hate. "Asshat". Man, for someone who thinks he's the cat's pajamas when it comes to being a dick to people, you could at least come up with two different insults to sling in consecutive comments. Being a jerk only works when you're at least a little bit funny, and brotha, funny you isn't.

Sorry, just to be clear and... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Sorry, just to be clear and to avoid offending old people who aren't morons: any person who takes advantage of a government program and then turns around and demands that the government stay the hell out of their lives is a moron. Obviously not all old people are like that. Everybody who self-identifies as a small-government conservative; is eligible for Medicare; and does not opt out of the program to pay for all of their medical expenses out of pocket is necessarily a moron. QED.

Nobody likes a lia... (Below threshold)
The Big O!:
Nobody likes a liar, so don't be one.
Being a jerk only works when you're at least a little bit funny, and brotha, funny you isn't.

You ought to take your own advice, hyperbolist.


Everybody who self-identifies as a small-government conservative; is eligible for Medicare; and does not opt out of the program to pay for all of their medical expenses out of pocket is necessarily a moron.

Can explain the process for self-identified small-government conservatives to legally opt out of paying Medicare taxes on their income so that they can instead use that money to purchase their own insurance or pay their own medical expenses out of pocket?

Because if you can't explain how to do that, you might want to reconsider how foolish you look proclaiming that people who are forced, by law, to contribute a fixed portion of their income to specifically pay for this government program are morons when they expect to receive their share of service from this government program that they were forced, by law, to pay for.

Clarify something for me, B... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Clarify something for me, Big O!: if someone is fully covered by private insurance (out of pocket), are they still eligible for Medicare as bonus coverage?

"..explain the process for ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"..explain the process for self-identified small-government conservatives to legally opt out of paying Medicare taxes on their income so that they can instead use that money to purchase their own insurance or pay their own medical expenses out of pocket?

Because if you can't explain how to do that, you might want to reconsider how foolish you look proclaiming that people who are forced, by law, to contribute a fixed portion of their income to specifically pay for this government program are morons when they expect to receive their share of service from this government program that they were forced, by law, to pay for. "

Spot on.

Sorry, hyperbolist, I have ... (Below threshold)
The Big O!:

Sorry, hyperbolist, I have neither the time nor the inclination to cure your ignorance of the topic you've chosen to insultingly pontificate about.

In the future, you might want to take the initiative to educate yourself about a topic before you spout off on it, instead of begging someone else for edification after you get your rhetorical ass handed to you. You'll look like less of a mindless tool that way.

Hyper - Yes, you c... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hyper -

Yes, you can have full independent coverage and still be eligible for medicare. Think of it as having a spouse who has employer based coverage. You con be covered by both your policy and hers.

Right, thanks jim.... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Right, thanks jim.

So, clarification: anyone who purports to distrust government intervention in healthcare, but elects not to purchase private health insurance because they trust that the coverage they receive through socialist Medicare is sufficient, is a moron.

Further to the discussion on healthcare more generally: can anyone explain what value insurance companies add to your healthcare system, without begging the question? Joe Scarborough can't.

Better clarification: You a... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Better clarification: You are forced to pay taxes for something you may want to opt out of. There is no mechanism to opt out of paying for it, so STFU and just take it, morons.

But I don't want to put words in your mouth, maybe you could address TBO's question in #67 yourself.

Oh, sorry: I guess they mig... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Oh, sorry: I guess they might not be morons, but just unable to afford both taxes and private insurance. In which case they're... what... being forced into becoming braying hypocrites? "I'll take yer stinkin' Medicare, but dag-nabbit, you'd best not let anybody else have none of it 'cause I ain't payin' nothin' for nobody!" It's like if Septuagenarian Yosemite Sam was asked how he feels about the public option.

Regardless, it sure is funny listening to people tremble in terror at the thought of government intervening in their lives, all the while depending on that same government to keep them alive. Funny, funny stuff. I think that people who pay for insurance and yet are denied coverage probably find it funniest.

"..all the while depending ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"..all the while depending on that same government to keep them alive.."

'Depending' on it because they have no choice.

Quit digging already.
Your slur of 'small govt-types who don't refuse Medicare are morons' meme has been busted.

And I suppose that given th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

And I suppose that given the unConstitutionality of Medicare; and its nature as an 'entitlement'; that you would sooner throw people to the wolves of the free market, Les, and let them choose which insurance company by which to get royally fucked?

People on Medicare have it better than many people with private insurance, if not most. People who whine about the government intervening in healthcare will likely regret the position they took throughout this 'debate' if, in the future, they are denied coverage by their evil insurance company.

And make no mistake about it: insurance companies are evil. What value do they add? Not to shareholders, but what value to the healthcare system in general? None! No value! They're leeches and there is no rationale for their existence within the healthcare system.

"..insurance companies are ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"..insurance companies are evil. "

Evil! Evil, I say!

And yet Obama promises, PROMISES, that we'll still have insurance companies under Obamacare.

So Obama is promoting evil upon the nation?
Oh my.

This is off the deep end, even for you. Though, I suppose once they get Obamacare passed, THEN they'll go with your 'insurance is evil' meme so they can get to 'purer' socialized medicine; which is what they're striving for:

" House Democrats are probing the nation's largest insurance companies for lavish spending, demanding reams of compensation data and schedules of retreats and conferences.


Letters sent to 52 insurance companies by Democratic leaders demand extensive documents for an examination of 'extensive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry." The letters set a deadline of Sept. 14 for the documents.


Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, signed the three-page letter dated Monday.


An industry source replied when asked for comment: "This is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition designed to silence health plans."


By Sept. 4, the firms are supposed to supply detailed compensation data for board members and top executives, as well as a "table listing all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to the present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole or in part by your company."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26251.html#ixzz0Oez4zvfn "


Maybe we'll end up like Canada, eh?:


""The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is planning to shut down nearly one-quarter of its operating rooms and cancel thousands of elective surgeries between Sept. 1 and March 31 in a bid to bridge a $90-million budget gap, NDP health critic Adrian Dix charged yesterday.

Mr. Dix, MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway, said documents leaked to him by "health authority sources" propose cutting 6,250 surgeries, about 24 per cent of all scheduled procedures, to the end of fiscal 2009-10.

"What they're doing is deferring these surgeries until the next fiscal year to save money. It's going to increase wait times for people, and thousands of medically necessary procedures won't be performed," he said. . . . . .

From http://www.TheGlobeAndMail.com/news/national/british-columbia/ "

Tina S (# 64)--Her... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Tina S (# 64)--

Here's the link of Obama saying in 2003 that he wants single payer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE


Here's a link to the Center for American Progress Action Fund site which speaks of the March 24, 2007 health forum it sponsered with SEIU, at which Obama spoke:

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/events/healthforum

Sorry, just t... (Below threshold)

Sorry, just to be clear and to avoid offending old people who aren't
morons: any person who takes advantage of a government program and then
turns around and demands that the government stay the hell out of their
lives is a moron. Obviously not all old people are like that. Everybody who
self-identifies as a small-government conservative; is eligible for
Medicare; and does not opt out of the program to pay for all of their
medical expenses out of pocket is necessarily a moron. QED.

Hyper, unless you are immortal or just foolish,
you too might live to be old.
One thing about using Medicare now, you can quit using it.
Under the new "reformed"
system anyone who opts out of any insurance or an insurance not deemed adequate by the federal government gets to 'sic' the IRS on them with threats of taxation, fines, and penalties.
That is not the same thing as using Medicare now, coming from OLD voters tax dollars on an
open and free basis.

Hyperbolist, Do you ... (Below threshold)

Hyperbolist,
Do you have a problem with people who are 'aged'?
You constantly make aspersions against anyone
you deem old. What is old to you....anyone over
the age of 30?
/Logans Run




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