Liberal Dems best take this health-care deal

Barring a sudden change of fortunes — either the taxpayers’ good fortunes or those of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — liberal Democrats won’t be able to push through the radical remake of the nation’s health care system as they’d proposed.

Centrist Democrats, the so-called Blue Dogs who represent states and districts where the parties are still competitive, balked. In the Senate, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are working a bill that would drop the government “insurance” option in favor of a “nonprofit cooperative” that would sell insurance.  Gone, too, is a provision that invited large companies to dump medical costs onto taxpayers, though high-dollar benefits may be taxed at 35 percent and companies will be taxed to ”reimburse the government” for the subsidies that would go to those whose income is less than 300 percent of poverty.

Insurance companies would be barred from denying coverage to any applicant and they could not charge higher premiums for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

A commission, something akin the the base-closing commission used to eliminate excess military facilities, would be created to curtail future Medicare costs.

The radicals within the Democratic Party are incensed that the Blue Dogs have denied them an opportunity to overreach.  Frankly, what the six Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are proposing is considerably far-reaching.  It creates a huge new welfare entitlement and, for the most part, hides the cost.  Prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums for pre-existing conditions means that those higher costs are spread among other policy-holders.  The subsidies for those whose income is less than 300 percent of poverty,  $66, 150 for a family of  four,  will essentially establish a welfare base that reaches into the middle class. Everybody will be required to have insurance.

The proposal coming out of the Senate Finance Committee is the best chance liberal Dems have of getting ObamaCare this year.  When members of Congress go home and hear from constitutents who are now getting the word on the full impact of what the Pelosi Democrats are doing, support will soften even further.

Democrats don’t need any Republicans to pass the proposed monstrosity.  But I promise you that they don’t want their party’s legacy to be a complete federal takeover of health care in America.

234 comments Add your comment

Chris

July 28th, 2009
8:05 am

There is no such thing as Blue Dog Democrats. They are all Marxists! Deal with it!

booger

July 28th, 2009
8:34 am

This is a start. I would still like to know a realistic cost estimate, and how far the govt. will go in controlling procedures. Problem is in the cost increase for all who currently have insurance to pay for pre
existing conditions. I think a lot of folks with pre existing conditions may find it hard to find a job. This also will still be a job killer. Since only small companies with a payroll smaller than $250,000 will be exempt from mandatory employee insurance, this will be a huge cost for many employers.

THE MAYOR

July 28th, 2009
8:42 am

So has the city now reached a breaking point?

Mayor Franklin and Borders, in a joint statement Monday, said of the Forrest murder, “This intolerable criminal behavior is yet another tragic reminder to all of us at City Hall that we must work together to find the resources to support APD and community as it works to restore law and order to our streets. Making Atlanta safe must be our top priority.”

Meanwhile, Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington maintains a low profile, though his comments in a January AJC interview still resonate. When it comes to crime, the chief said, “you have to respond to perception. Because I think perception becomes reality.”

Churchill's MOM

July 28th, 2009
8:45 am

With all the good things happening to our next President Palin why can’t you write about her? My husband, the doctor says he would rather work for the government than the insurance companies.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
8:57 am

Obamacare will fail. Churchill’s Mom, it’s quite apparent your husband is a)a smart man (a doctor), and b)never been employed by the government. he may want to rethink who he’d rather work for. Government will limit his salary, probably make him sign some b.s. labor contracts, the great healthcare you get now will be all but lost…I mean, Come On People-how the hell can you let government take control?? Let’s review some government run entities and how well they operate:
Medicare-SUCKS and the program is a pain for everyone in it, plus it’s running out of money.
Social Security-Yeah, like that will be there when most of us hit retirement age
Education-Yeah, we’re one of the richest countries in the world with some of the dumbest kids alive-government education at it’s best!
Police/Fire-hmmm-when ATL ran out of money what did they start cutting?? POLICE AND FIRE!?!?! Yeah, they really care about their citizens when they refuse to protect them.

One more important question to ask-If this ‘government healthcare’ plan is so darn good, then why aren’t the politicians a part of it?? No one in Congress or the White House will be on this plan-i wonder why??

(BECAUSE IT SUCKS)

Edwin

July 28th, 2009
8:57 am

The American people did not elect 60 Democratic Senators because we wanted something between the two parties, we did it as a repudiation of Republican ideology. The only thing that you acomplish by compromising with Republicans on the public option that Americans overwelmingly favor is to prove that you are slaves to the same corporate interests. In that case elections become a question of which slaves you prefer. The people who gave you all this power don’t want slaves, so they won’t support you and you will loose the power to reform.

Democrats need to realize that the country is now solidly Democratic. The ones who have failed to make the minshift are those who have everything to loose from this or the ones who are so set in their ways that they have missed all the signs of it. Republican public polling is in the tank because everyone has lived eight years of proof of their mindless worship of the golden calf. You must distinguish your brand from that. Once you do, my generation will buy back this ddemocracy as we become more and more wealthy.

Davo

July 28th, 2009
9:05 am

Universal Healthcare = State funded abortions

How well do you think that will go over in the red states? I’m sure all the ‘birthers’ will happily fork out their kids college tuition so they can pay for wefare moms’ twinkies and bypass surgery.

Healthcare is a commedity, not a right.

HSR0601

July 28th, 2009
9:11 am

A pay for outcome / value payment system, key to the deficit-neutral, might be capable of bringing all groups together.

Supporters of the agreement say it could save the Medicare System more than $100 billion a year and ‘improve’ care, that means more than $1trillian over a decade, and virtually needs no other resources including tax on the wealthiest. (Please visit http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=820455&catid=391 for detailed infos).

As much as 30 percent of all health-care spending in the U.S. -some $700 billion a year- may be wasted on tests and treatments that do not improve the health of the recipients,” Thus the remaining $239 billions over a decade do not matter.
Dr. Armadio at Mayo clinic says, “If we got rid of that stuff, we save a third of all that we spend and that is 2.5 trillion dollars on health care. A third of that and that is 700 billion dollars a year. That covers a lot of uninsured people.”

1. There is no need for infighting and class conflict.

2. It can satisfy revenue-neutral raised by the Republicans.

3. It is able to resolve the regional disparity.

4. It may bring the private insurers to competition, innovation.

5. The focus on ‘outcome’ over volume can make the practitioners more accurate and creative based on IT SYSTEM and evidence, while eliminating the additional, unnecessary care that is increasing patients’ pains, frustrations, and possible side-effects.

6. The desperate people will get back American dream.

THANK YOU !

Get Real

July 28th, 2009
9:12 am

First off, use one font. Second, it appears that you’re in favor of insurance companies denying coverage to individuals and charging them higher rates based on what time of day it is, and the positioning of the moon. Everything that you claim is so ‘radical’ about government run health care is already happening in the private sector. Private bureaucrats at insurance headquarters decide what plan of treatment individuals receive. Tort reform gives preference to doctors over patients they’ve injured or killed. Studies conducted by the National Practitioners Data Bank (http://www.citizen.org/documents/NPDB%20Report_Final.pdf) found that medical malpractice claims have fallen over the years, even though chickenhawk republicans such as yourself have claimed that ‘frivolous lawsuits’ are whats the problem with health care.

So why believe you now when you say the ‘radical’ democrats have the audacity to try and pass a health care plan that will cover most Americans. As if there is a problem with that. The cost to treat uninsured and underinsured patients are already being passed on to individuals through higher premiums. But you’d rather maintain the status quo. Why? It only serves the purpose of the insurance companies… Is that why you want to maintain the poor level of service with up to 98,000 patients killed per year due to medical errors? Even the malpractice premiums doctors pay are paid for by patients through higher costs, but you have no problem with that. Only who will receive those higher costs. Retire man, you’re out of your league now.

Do the Math

July 28th, 2009
9:14 am

Insurance companies, the pharmaceuticals and inefficient medical care will bankrupt the United States if something is not done to change the course we’re on.

Republicans want Obama and this administration to fail for bragging rights, and if it fails so does this country. It is happening to families, cities, and soon states.

Bankrupcy knows no political party.

Wake up people!

Get Real

July 28th, 2009
9:22 am

@ HSR060- Part of the reason for some many tests that aren’t necessary is due to the defensive treatment that doctors provide. They are afraid of malpractice suits and resort to the undertreatment or overtreatment (which results in unnecessary tests and procedures) to protect themselves. Take a look at the link I provided. It debunks most of the sky is falling mantra from Wooten and his ilk.

Aquagirl

July 28th, 2009
9:22 am

The whole *point* of insurance is to spread the risk among everyone. When you have the State paying for those denied/kicked off insurance plans, what’s the point, except to allow higher profits for insurance? You’re paying for those people anyhow through taxes. Like it or not, we don’t let people die in the street because they can’t pay. Those costs must be absorbed somehow.

If insurance companies can’t deny coverage maybe they’ll shift a little of their spending to preventative care.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
9:30 am

i don’t want Obama and his administration to fail for ‘bragging rights’. I want them to fail because if they don’t fail, AMERICA WILL FAIL. People-especially you democrats, listem up. Healthcare is NOT A RIGHT. Is water a right?? NO-you have a water bill you have to pay to get drinkable water! Same thing with energy, same thing with healthcare…

Let’s look at what Obama wants to do-give coverage to 47 million americans. Ok, let’s look at that 47 million-9.1 million make over 75,000 a year and choose not to pay for health care -so toss them out because they CAN afford it, they just choose not to.
Next-9.1 million illegal immigrants-uhhh, DUH, ILLEGALS! so we just took 18 million out of 47, which leaves…29 million. Now if OBAMA would get his head out of his arse and fix the economy first, unemployment would drop from this catastrophic level back down to 5%, which would give at least another estimated 8 million people benefits and thus-healthcare.

So now we’re down to 21 million w/o insurance. Current population records show there are about 303 million people in the US, and Obamacare will screw with all those people’s lives to provide benfits to some 20 million. Why is the HUGE majority going to screw up everything for some minority of people…? I’ll tell you why, and HERE IS WHY OBAMACARE IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE DEMS-(you paying attention)

THAT 20 MILLION MINORITY?? those are the lazy, uneducated blacks/hispanics/whites that don’t care about anyone but themselves-AND OBAMA NEEDS THEIR VOTES FOR NEXT ELECTION (along with all the illegals). This is vote buying at it’s best!

whatever

July 28th, 2009
9:31 am

aquagirl, your assumption that insurance is to spread the risk around to everyone is incomplete. the proposed legislation would not spread the risk around, as a significant number of people supported by the plan have no risk to spread. in a typical insurance plan, everyone pays a premium, everyone feels a little pain. in this plan, there is nothing like that.

all those who support the plan, i want your honest opinion. lets have a hypothetical. lets say that you, a hard working person formed an insurance agreement with a person that refuses to work, eats all the time, is morbidly obese, smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day, have 12 kids, uses crack, buys expensive clothes and cell phones with their welfare checks, etc. Now, imagine that you are the only one that has to pay any premium, yet you both get the same level of care.

Lets count on one finger how long you think that insurance company will be profitable or sustainable.

you see, Congress is looking at the solution from a 20k foot level view and is not getting into the nitty gritty of its effects upon the american population.

If you ever want to educate yourself, read Atlass Shrugged.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
9:36 am

and for anyone that is arguing that health care costs are out of control, answer me this one question: what should they be? everyone is assuming that healthcare system is broken because that is what they have been told, so they believe it. but, what exactly is broken? is it the costs? okay then, what should the costs be? what is affordable? does that mean that the average american citizen should not buy that new HDTV or go out to eat for lunch every day, or have an expensive cell phone plan, or cable TV? what is more important? everyone complains about costs, yet they are too lazy to tighten the belts themselves. they want government money, someone elses money to fix the problem. if someone is on a tight budget, truly lives within their means, and cannot afford healthcare coverage, fine then, i have no problem with that. what i do have a problem with is people that whine and groan about the outrageous health care costs, then get into their new car, talk on their new cell phone, eat out, then head home to watch cable tv on their new HDTV in their big house.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
9:40 am

tray, your characterization of the 20M is obscene and offensive. a large portion of those 20M are honest people that either dont get paid enough to afford insurance or are out of a job. get off your high horse.

Peadawg

July 28th, 2009
9:45 am

“Healthcare is a commedity, not a right.”

Amen! I just wish other people understood that!

Aquagirl

July 28th, 2009
9:51 am

@ whatever, the only people who don’t have any health risks are those who are dead. I think they are already excluded from the plan, though with the way Washington works, I’m not completely sure.
If you want someone to blame for higher health costs—with more than half the population overweight, there are plenty of fat fingers to point. (Or count on.)

And it’s “Atlas Shrugged.” BTW I may be a libertarian but I’m not slogging through 1300 + pages of mediocre fiction to get the idea. “Anthem” does the job much better, IMHO.

DeKalb Conservative

July 28th, 2009
9:52 am

Scary part, the earmarks haven’t even been added yet!

Dunwoody Mike

July 28th, 2009
9:53 am

And so we get the worst of both worlds…costs will continue to skyrocket, while quality of care will decline. The rich continue to get rich on the backs of the working class. It would be really nice if the government elected by the people actually cared about them…or at least pretended to care.

Mid-South Philosopher

July 28th, 2009
9:56 am

OK, my conservative friends, Jim is right. Barring some sort of catastrophic event, I don’t think the move to socialized medicine will work this round. That being said, you had better get off your collective gluteus maximus and find a way to make health care more affordable. Another 10 years like the last, and you will not even have a seat at the table!

deegee

July 28th, 2009
9:57 am

Last night I watched the full hour broadcast on CNBC, “Meeting of the Minds.” It was a roundtable discussion of healthcare reform hosted by Maria Bartiromo. Representatives of all the stakeholders participated in the discussion. The most impressive participant was Dr. Steven Nissen, Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He made the point that healthcare reform should emphasize accountability and results. In other words; fewer, more appropriate procedures rather than lots of expensive, unnecessary procedures. Michael Milken; Chairman, The Milken Institute
and Chairman, FasterCures, was also impressive in the way he emphasized the importance of personal responsibility on the part of the consumer of health care. He emphasized the direct correlation between skyrocketing health care costs and the rise in the rate of obesity. The biggest toolbox was (R) Bill Frist, U.S. Senator, Professor of Business and Medicine, Vanderbilt University. He added nothing but political talking points.

Da Guy

July 28th, 2009
10:00 am

@ Peadawg, if health care is a commodity, then make it illegal for insurance companies to charge me for providing care to someone thats unisured. Either don’t provide care at all, or eat the loss. Can’t call it a commodity and I’m paying for others.

Daedalus

July 28th, 2009
10:00 am

Remember when Georgia passed laws making it almost impossible to bring a medical malpractice suit?

We were told it would result in significant reductions in malpractice premiums that would be passed on to consumers.

But that never happened. The end result is that if someone is a victim of medical malpractice that’s just too bad (or is is it God’s Will?).

Just like Governor’s Curly’s initiative to privatize AGL’s natural gas monopoly resulted in an increase in natural gas costs to consumers and put more profits to corporations, med-mal reform only helps the profits of insurance companies.

That’s what I love about the Republicans and Dedmocrats in Georgia — they continually claim their going to help ordinary Georgians while the real agenda is to help corporations improve profits so they can make more campaign contributions.

The real whopper was last years bill to allow Georgia Power to bill us for a nuke plant it has yet to build and the Georgia Legislature and Gov Curly put the entire risk of loss for that turkey on Georgia consumers — and not Georgia Power or its shareholders.

If the legislature wants to spend its time on corporate giveaways so they can get re-elected, then lets at least have the honesty of not trying to cloak them with BS about helping consumers.

Peadawg

July 28th, 2009
10:10 am

Da Guy, I take it you’re a doctor? Have fun having the gov’t control you and telling you how to run your practice.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
10:11 am

To Whatever:

Whatever, it was spot on and you darn well know it!

whatever

July 28th, 2009
10:11 am

aquagirl: i wish you would read the post before commenting. believe it or not, there is more than just health risks here. what i meant was monetary risk.

also, thanks for the correction on atlas. here is your grammar patrol badge, since it means so much to you.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
10:13 am

tray, no it was not. sorry. my sister, a college educated person is one of those 20M. yes, there are some losers in their, but she is a great american and a hard worker. circumstances beyond her control put her in the 20M. she is working hard to get out, though, which makes her even awesomer.

aquagirl: yes, i know the word awesomer is a violation of the grammar patrol, so dont bother correcting me.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
10:15 am

Wow, you named 1 out of 20 million, i know 5 unemployed people who pick up their free checks and go buy pot…they know they can live off the government for the next 9 months worry free.

I GAURANTEE YOU, there are more people like the ones i know in that 20 million group than people like your sister…to argue that shows how irrational and out of touch with reality you are.

Jackie

July 28th, 2009
10:17 am

@Aquagirl,

It seems that many who oppose universal health care do not understand the basis of insurance.

If those that complain the loudest would take the time to understand the vocabulary of the insurance industry, they would have a clearer understanding of what insurance is and why those premiums are astronomical.

Insurance is risk-aversion, i.e., paying someone for taking the financial risk for contractual obligations of goods and services being rendered. A simplistic example would be to have a risk-pool of 100 people who are fully covered and 100 who are not covered. The total health care costs are $1,000 for all 100 of those citizens. This gives a mean cost of $10 per citizen.

We are aware that very few of us meet the median of most average, but, we must be covered to meet or exceed that average.

Now, if only 1 citizen were to use that $1,000, should that person be forced to pay a premium to cover those cost of goods and services plus the profit required by the insurance companies?

Universal health care is based upon shared risk, therefore, each citizen pays $10 to cover those medical cost along with other monies required to meet the profit margins of insurance companies. This “socialized” concept lowers the cost of health care premiums and allows the insurance companies those profit margins.

JF McNamara

July 28th, 2009
10:17 am

I wish they would just go ahead and push it through. My company sponsored healthcare has continually diminished in service and increased in price so that a corporation can make a profit from a monopoly. What am I going to do, go without insurance on myself and family and risk my entire financial existance or worse yet, die or have a family member die due to lack of insurance?

We’re already paying for the uninsured through our current system. We just do it with higher insurance premiums and taxes. Why does that aspirin at the hospital cost $50? It’s because they have to cover the 15 people who got aspirin that didn’t have insurance and cover the profit margin. It’s costing you more now than ever, but it’s just a hidden cost.

To boot, our current system is essentially endangering the uninsured. They can’t go to the Doctor for preventive care. How many deaths by heart attacks could’ve been prevented if they’d seen the doctor earlier? How many children die because the mother doesn’t do prenatal? Couldn’t we fix that? I figured the right wingers would love this since fetus is a human with rights. Isn’t not having healthcare endangering that precious unborn fetus?

We keep making decisions based on some mythological American bravado where you have to be a mega achiever to get everything and its costing us more and more every day. Comically, it’s a lot of those in the middle class who will likely benefit from healthcare reform who defend the mythology the greatest and refuse change.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
10:18 am

Eliminating waste won’t cover the cost, that is a huge myth and who can name a government run anything that’s good at eliminating waste? The problem is that health care capabilities have exceeded their affordability. The only solution to that is denial of benefits. The “commission to curtail future Medicare costs” is the important part of the program and the solution. Does an otherwise healthy 80 year old get a pacemaker or a transplant? No, because that’s an inefficient way of distributing scarce resources.

Neutron

July 28th, 2009
10:22 am

My girlfriend passed away in December from a long term illness, and witnessing what she went through dealing with the business side of health care made me realize just how screwed up our system truly is.

The first, and most obvious fact that the anti-reform crowd ignore, is that those suffering from a long-term serious illness DON’T WORK ANYMORE! My girlfriend had insurance through her job with IBM for many years, but for the last couple of years she was too sick to work, and naturally was no longer covered by IBM. She maintained her insurance through COBRA, but it was considerably more expensive. So here’s a newsflash for you: if you suffer from a long term illness and become too sick to work, your employer will drop your insurance and yur only alternative is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.

A renewal form that my girlfriend sent to the COBRA office got lost in the mail, and she didn’t find out that they didn’t receive it until after the deadline had passed. Someone there bent the rules for her and eventually renewed her policy, but for a couple of weeks she thought that she had lost her coverage, and the added stress made her medical condition get much worse.

Obamas plan to subsidize the health insurance industry, so that rates would be more affordable and that they would accept people with pre-existing conditions, is basically the same thing that Dwight Eisenhower tried to do over 50 years ago. Eisenhower said that his chief opponents on this issue were “”just plain stupid…a little group of reactionary men dead set against any change” Funny how history repeats itself…if Eisenhower were around today, no doubt the right-wingers would brand him as a Marxist too.

deegee

July 28th, 2009
10:22 am

Tray, we all agree that 90% of the population has health insurance and they are not terribly unhappy with the deal they are getting. The people that are paying for it are complaining. That would be your employer, doctors, and hospitals. The insurance companies have them by the short and fuzzies.

The overwhelming majority of insured people have no idea what their out of pocket expenses were for health care last year. Nor do they know what their employer spent on their health care. They don’t have any idea what the doctor charged, what the insurance company paid or how long it took the doctor to get the reimbursement. If you have one car wreck you know exactly what it cost, how long it took to get paid and what the consequences will be to your premium.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
10:25 am

jackie,

your analysis is flawed. you keep implying that everyone will pay into the system, and that is simply not the case. even the white house has admitted that 10s of millions of those covered would be unable to pay.

try again my friend.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
10:25 am

Dunwoody Mike – You’re right on. The people determining this for all of us won’t have the resulting poor care. They don’t care about lousy public schools because their children go to the best private schools. They don’t care about schools or hospitals overrun with illegals because they live in gated communities and don’t go to those schools or hospitals. Decency and fairness in this country have died along with honesty. They’ve been supplanted by the limitless greed of the rich and powerful.

ornery

July 28th, 2009
10:26 am

While there seems to be a lot of debate on healthcare and the uproar of a National Healthcare plan, I’ve not heard any real alternative out there, either from Republicans or Demcrats alike.. Just not anything viable.

Having said that, I have my own plan that I’ve evolved over the years..

1. It puts health care responsibility squarely on the consumer. It removes businesses and government from the healthcare industry.

2. It’s based on the automobile insurance model, your required to have coverage for you and your family. If there are serious genetic or by no fault of their own critical

illnesses, users over 70 years old they are put in a shared risk pool among the top 10 insurance providers, meaning they will have quality health insurance affordably with

the risk shared by all.

3. Those that abuse their bodies (smoking, drinking, drugs) will be put into a high risk low reward pool of insurance that they will pay a higher rate of insurance.

4. All persons will be required to have health insurance, it is not a right it is a responsibility.

5. Reduce the process and costs where possible for new medicines on the market.

6. Take out medicare/medicaid completely. To pay the run up costs, Feds will pay a shrinking model to insurance companies using current medicare tax money to help wean the users off.

7. Transplants reconstruction surgery and other major medical procedures will stop at age 60. Unless user pays out of pocket for those procedures.

8. Initiate a insurance ombudsman (ala Insurance Commissioner) that will monitor the insurance companies to ensure affordability (set rates) ensure quality of care and ensure the pipes are clean (pharmacy payments, hospital bills, Emergency Medical).

9. Push elder care to relatives and church groups as it was in the past. Ensure a care plan for each person.

10. Reward those that maintain good health (low hospital visits, work out) carrot and stick approach.

Allow easy seamless transfer of health insurance based on price, force carriers to use competition on quality and price to lure customers.

This will take an effort on all parties, to look at the pricing structure and service. I believe this can be done. I also support common groups for price support (credit union members). For those that have inherent risk of cost (firefighters, law enforcement) There can be a extra

band of protection provided by the employer for those risks (burns, bullets) But, it would not provide complete care, just catastrophic care on the job.

This is not a perfect plan, but we must move beyond government subsidies to reduce the inherent increase of cost of health care.

Aquagirl

July 28th, 2009
10:27 am

@ whatev-ah: I don’t usually go all grammar/ spelling patrol on someone who is otherwise coherent. You are not. Did you mean to say that the uninsured have no money to *contribute* to healthcare insurance or costs? That’s a bit different than “risk.”

And yes, a complete lack of effort to capitalize, spell correctly, etc. does make you look like a dummy. It often indicates you’re either too lazy to put in the effort, or are more concerned with publishing stream of consciousness brilliance on a complex subject such as healthcare.

If you’re okay with txtspk, good 4 u. I won’t bother you with such unreachable standards again.

Cody

July 28th, 2009
10:28 am

Im hoping that this healthcare bill doesn’t pass. Too much Gov is not good.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
10:30 am

Just like EVERY OTHER OBAMA PLAN-we’re going to penalize the rich for their hard work, and maybe, just maybe, after penalizing them so much, they will leave. Then we’ll just have a country of Morons-the kind of country Obama CAN run!

Facts:
How many of the uninsured are illegal aliens. Answer … about 25% of them. They came here illegally, they stay here illegally, they work here illegally … and we’re supposed to be upset that they can’t afford health insurance? If they get hurt patch them up and send them home.
How many of the uninsured are young and just not buying health insurance because they think they’re pretty much bulletproof right now? I’ve seen estimates as high as 20 million .. almost one-half of the uninsured. Hey, they made their choice … let them suffer the consequences. Why do I have to sacrifice my health care freedom because some nimrods decide it is more important to pay for that new BMW and the flat screen TV than it is to take care of their health needs.

BW

July 28th, 2009
10:30 am

If the CBO score comes back positive and the Republicans still don’t support…then they truly risk marginalizing themselves even further…people will start to see the Democratic party, for good or worse, as the party that actually makes an effort to solve the country’s problems

Tray

July 28th, 2009
10:30 am

Remember .. there are solutions out there. The only solution acceptable to the Democrats is one that makes government more powerful

Da Guy

July 28th, 2009
10:31 am

Wooten held back my flawless response to peadawg. I’m not a doctor, but a health care administrator. Insurance companies tell patients now what kind of services they can receive, or what services they (insurance companies) are willing to pay for. Ever seen John Q. That happens more often than you think. Try reading your insurance policy with magnifying glasses. You’re only ‘covered’ when the insurance company agrees to pay for your medical procedure. Prior to that, they’re investigating ways to determine how not to pay for that surgery. Look for yourself. Don’t take my word for it.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
10:31 am

JF – wow, just like aquagirl and jackie, you guys are pulling out all of the myths to try to justify this plan. of the children that do not have health insurance, over 75% would qualify for scrips or other government mandated health insurance plans, yet for some reason, their parents dont bother to apply. also, those plans extend to prenatal visits by pregnant women.

also, unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, all non-partisan projected estimates say that the government option will end up costing the middle class more than what they pay now. did you hear that? is that coming through? so instead of paying an insurance company (that you can sue) money each month, you in taxes are going to be paying more to the government for lower quality of care.

stop listening to the stupid politicians and follow the money. it just quite simply does not work out. why do you think they are trying to hike taxes on the rich? because the numbers dont add up. it will end up being more costly to those that cannot afford increased costs (e.g. the middle class because the poor dont pay anything to begin with). even washington knows that.

Da Guy

July 28th, 2009
10:33 am

Please provide a link to where you got that info about illegals Tray.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
10:33 am

thanks aquagirl for saying that you wont bother me with your useless corrections. one grammar patrol high horse loser down, hundreds more to go.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
10:34 am

@deegee-So, it lokos like the problem is poor education-people don’t know what they pay, what their employer pays…Maybe if the government had an education system worthwhile, people would actually know to ask these questions. And who runs the education system (that doesn’t work)?? GOVERNMENT!

deegee

July 28th, 2009
10:45 am

Tray, are you upset because BO hasn’t shown you his long form birth certificate?

Seeker

July 28th, 2009
10:45 am

I wonder if it could be considered unconstitutional to mandate or require every US citizen have health insurance.

billy bob from cobb

July 28th, 2009
10:46 am

How are you going to feel when Nancy and her gang is the one deciding if your 62 year old father is worthy of the life saving procedure. Think about how hard it will be watching your loved ones dieing, because the cost of saving them is too high.

sharecropper

July 28th, 2009
10:47 am

Mr. Wooten: what in the world is it about you wingnuts, who have damaged this country more since idiot Reagan in 1980 than all the almost 200 years preceding, that you have to practice such intellectual dishonest, get in bed with insurance companies, demand “bipartisanship” as soon as you lose power, deign to advise — as world losers — the winners on how to govern, though throwing the country into massive debt and two wars? Is it in the genes? You and I both know the “Blue Dogs” are Republicans who run as Democrats in predominantly Democratic districts. You and I both know that no Republican, despite 160 of their “amendments” a transparent effort to kill health care for Americans, will never vote for the bill because Republicans are both moral and physical cowards, scared to death of you wingnuts and bobbleheads. I would say shame, but we’re talking about Limbo Republicans: after you get so low we swear you can’t get lower, you do.

jt

July 28th, 2009
10:49 am

Jim- You touted-

“Insurance companies would be barred from denying coverage to any applicant and they could not charge higher premiums for those with pre-existing medical conditions.”

When an “insurance” company is coercised( at the end of a gun) into accepting anyone in any condition, that “insurance” company ceases to be one.

I don’t know what you call it, but I do know that it will be a huge slush fund for the politically connected.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
10:54 am

okay, maybe i am confused (and that is admittedly a good possibility).

1) where is health care coverage a right?
2) where in my contract with the insurance company does it say that they have to provide me with coverage in all instances?

somehow, along the line, we forgot that insurance companies were for-profit entities. we sign contracts with them. if you dont want health care coverage that they provide, dont pay. its that simple.

now, here go the leftists that say, “see, this is why we need government run healthcare.” first, even biden admitted about 10 years ago (when hitlary was trying to push her plan) that there would need to be rationing. Second, anyone that believes that a government organization is run better than a private one should really run off a cliff. third, anyone that believes that the government beuracrats running the plan wont create an even more corrupt organization should follow those people and run off a cliff.

before we get into whether or not healthcare can/should be fixed, we should have really spent the time to figure out a lot of things. first, what would a reasonable cost of healthcare be. second, what are the inefficiencies in the system. third, what are the “relationships” that increase the cost of healthcare. do malpractice lawsuits actually increase or decrease the cost of health insurance.

the problem with the materials out there being relied upon by both sides is that there are a lot of assumptions. it takes time, and the dems dont want to do that because it would hurt them in the 2010 elections. the republicans dont care, dont have a plan, but just oppose the dem plan because that is what they are supposed to do according the the RNC.

Will

July 28th, 2009
10:56 am

Mr. Wooten:

I believe the governors of South Carolina and Alaska have provided our candidates for governor of Georgia with teachable moments this summer.

I have asked the following questions of these candidates:

1. Are you willing to make a “fidelity” pledge to the citizens of Georgia? Have you engaged in any type of sinful affair outside your marriage while an elected official and will you pledge to spare the state from unwanted and humiliting attention by resigning from office if you do so while governor of Georiga?

2. Do you agree with former governor Palin that a lame duck gubernatorial term is spent mostly on junkets and and accomplishes very little?

3. Will you pledge to complete your elected term no matter your personal or fiscal ambitions?

4. Will you pledge not to let your perceived enemies run you from office, no matter how many complaints they may file or no matter how much they hurt your feelings?

5. If you break your pledge of completing your term in office for any of the above reasons, will you pledge to reimburse the citizens who contributed to your campaign and who assumed they were giving you money so that you could govern the state for the full term?

I’ll let you know the answers to my questions. I will assume any gubernatorial candidate who fails to respond is not willing to make these pledges.

Disgusted

July 28th, 2009
10:57 am

If insurance companies can’t deny coverage maybe they’ll shift a little of their spending to preventative care.

Think again. I worked in the insurance industry for almost 20 years. Insurance rates are based on actuarial tables and rates based on insurability. In other words, they’re based on actual experience with hundreds of thousands of cases. Think of it this way: if you’re offering a group health plan, you’re basing rates on previous experience with groups of a similar composition. You know you may have one or two people among 500 who may require $200,000 in medical expenses for a given year, but the remainder will require only standard care, for which you price.

Now throw in mandatory coverage for six people with advanced cancer, two with AIDs, and 80 with severe diabetes. Your standard rate will no longer work. The only way you can cover expenses and still make a profit is to raise the rate charged to everybody. And that’s exactly what will happen with mandatory coverage. I’m not against universal coverage. But those who share my concern with extending coverage to everybody, regardless of preexisting conditions, should be prepared to pay more for their own coverage. A focus on preventive care will go only so far to reduce your insurance expenses.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
10:58 am

billie bob – That’s going to be Rahm Emmanuel’s brother’s job. Of course he’ll have great care while denying it to others, which makes the Dems in power a lot like the Repubs if you ask me. Oh and 62 might be a tad young for denial of care but after more like 75 you shouldn’t get it unless you can pay for it.

The real issue

July 28th, 2009
10:58 am

I think everyone agrees that the healthcare system in this country is broken. However, a goverment run program is not the way to fix the problem. Imagine this and lets us Obama’s numbers: What happens the day 47 million Americans who were under insured or not insured get healthcare? The majority of them will run to a doctor or emergency room for care. In some cases, its legit. But the majority of cases will be suspect. Imagine the cost to this country the first day, let alone decades from now.

My belief is that we will never get control of rising healthcare cost until we make people responsible for their own healthcare decisions. Also, we need to pull together a bill that provides more choice at a affordable rate. By allowing insurers the ablity to compete for our dollars across state lines would increase competition and bring pricing down.

Just my two cents.

Tray

July 28th, 2009
10:59 am

No Deegee, I’m upset because there are tons of idiots who elected an idiot who has fixed nothing and is making it worse!

jacksmith

July 28th, 2009
11:00 am

LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Thomas Paine)

We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. A trillion dollar taxpayer funded private health insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one. Co-OP’s ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION. They are a fraud being pushed by the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry.

YOU CANT HAVE AN INSURANCE MANDATE WITHOUT A ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION. MANDATING PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE AS YOUR ONLY CHOICE WOULD BE UNETHICAL, CORRUPT, AND MORALLY REPUGNANT. AND PROBABLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS WELL.

These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will help you feel better too.

There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. :-)

God Bless You

jacksmith — Working Class

I REST MY CASE (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

* Richard Shelby of Alabama
* Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
* John McCain of Arizona
* Mel Martinez of Florida
* Johnny Isakson of Georgia
* Mike Crapo of Idaho
* Chuck Grassley of Iowa
* Sam Brownback of Kansas
* Jim Bunning of Kentucky
* David Vitter of Louisiana
* Kit Bond of Missouri
* Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
* Richard Burr of North Carolina
* George Voinovich of Ohio
* Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
* Jim DeMint of South Carolina
* John Thune of South Dakota
* Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
* Bob Bennett of Utah

Matilda

July 28th, 2009
11:02 am

How are you going to feel when Nancy and her gang is the one deciding if your 62 year old father is worthy of the life saving procedure?

D’OH! Who makes that decision NOW? Either your or your 62-year-old father have the funds in the bank to pay for the procedure yourselves (if so, goody goody for you; you are excused from this discussion) or RANDOM INSURANCE EXECUTIVES make that decision FOR you. And believe those privately-employed insurance executives care more about their department’s bottom line, and their resulting year-end bonuses, than whether your father lives or dies. FACT: Insurance companies look for any and every reason to deny claims for life-saving procedures… EVERY DAY…. to people who paid their premiums for years and thought they were covered.

Omitting this part of the equation is overtly dishonest, and I’m tired of people like you telling be to “Ooooooooo! Ooooooooo! BE AFRAID!” of something that might be, while ignoring what IS.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
11:03 am

Disgusted – That’s only true if all the uninsured are higher risk than the average currently insured. While there are some currently uninsurable due to high risk most of the uninsured are illegals, poor, children, and young adults aren’t they?

Da Guy

July 28th, 2009
11:05 am

@ Tray. Please provide a link to your comment that 25% of those without health care are illegals. Would love to include that info in a study I’m assisting with.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
11:06 am

jacksmith – A lot of that 37th ranking by WHO from 2000 is based on the 47 million uninsured. For high end quality health care there is none finer than ours, if you can afford it. Rich people from around the world have come to places like the Cleveland Clinic for years.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:07 am

btw, all insurance premium increases by insurance companies in this state need to be approved by the insurance commissioner. its not like the insurance companies can just do it. this is something i am not happy with, as it was shown that oxendine received a large campaign donation from, you guessed it, an employee of an insurance company. wow. like i said before, these types of relationships need to be vetted out and quashed. my fear once this national healthcare plan goes active is that the lobbyist who we so hate will become the most important people in washington. i dont know about you, but i dont have the money to pay a lobbyist to work on my behalf. in the soviet union, connected members of the party always received better healthcare than the rest of the people because they were connected. equal…not really.

Chris Broe

July 28th, 2009
11:07 am

Grading Wooten. “Barring a sudden change in fortunes – either the taxpayer’s good fortunes or those of….liberal democrats wont be able to push through the radical remake…..as they proposed.”

Sure, I followed that paragraph along…what kind of hillbonics was that? I challenge any troll here to restate Wooten’s paragraph properly. If you succeed, then I will formally apologize to Mr. Woo, of China. (This is me not worried.)

C+

JF McNamara

July 28th, 2009
11:08 am

Yes, the plan will cost more today, but we will be transitioning to a system that has proven cheaper in every other Country. Unless we are somehow lesser than Europe, we should be able to work through the issues and get it to work.

I’m not listening to stupid politicians. I just understand that nothing is free and the system we have now is taking more and more money out of my pocket every year. Isn’t a rise in my current healthcare premium a tax? You can sue your insurance company, and I’ll pay for it with higher premiums.

HC Costs have risen 78% since 2001. As more and more people are priced out of insurance, the cost/taxes the insured have will rise because someone has to pay for the larger amount of uninsured. The middle class pays for this anyway just in a hidden manner. The option is not status quo versus higher priced government healthcare. It’s higher priced private healthcare versus higher priced government healthcare.

I tend to believe the government as a competitor will help lower prices over time.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:09 am

jacksmith, if i recall correctly, didnt the dems control both houses for two years prior to obama taking over? wasnt it barney frank who pushed lower lending standards on home mortgages, and is doing so now with condo mortgages?

both parties are at fault this for this mess.

Disgusted

July 28th, 2009
11:10 am

Jake@11:03: Believe me, those who are collectively and currently uninsured will represent a higher insurance risk than those who are collectively insured. Sheer lack of regular medical care will have allowed diseases to advance. The more advanced a disease, the more expensive it is to treat.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
11:10 am

Da guy – google uninsured americans and you’ll get plenty of info. The one I looked at says 80% are native or naturalized but that still leaves 20% or 9 million illegals.

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:11 am

Everytime anyone who speaks against the public option it will be nice to have how much money ther are getting from Healthcare Lobbyist next to their name.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:15 am

JF, please explain to me how the government will be a competitor when they can print all the money they want, run deficits in the trillions, make laws that favor their position, and regulate their competitors? that is not competition, that is a slaughter.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
11:16 am

Disgusted – You’re probably right, but there are a lot of seemingly healthy people that are uninsured because they work for small companies that don’t offer coverage and private plans are too expensive for those with little income. The source I looked at, NCHC, says 40% have household incomes above $50K and that 18-24 year olds are the most likely to be uninsured.

billy bob from cobb

July 28th, 2009
11:16 am

I guess it would piss most of you off to know I sell health insurance and have made over 1mil a year for the last 5 years.

TISH

July 28th, 2009
11:17 am

With the Obama health plan it seems as they want to exterminate the Senior population. Shades of Hitler is what I think.

Jack

July 28th, 2009
11:17 am

Amount spent on healthcare per head of population by US & UK governments in 2007:

UK NHS: $2,418.79 (1,475.41 pounds)
US Medicaid/are: $2,192.48 (1,337.23 pounds)

You already pay enough in taxes to afford full health coverage for everyone. If you don’t believe me, look it up.

You don’t actually GET cover for everyone for those taxes, because your broken system encourages profiteering and pushes prices up. Why do you think drugs are cheaper in Canada? It’s not because the drugs are different in any way. You aren’t getting better quality, you’re just paying more. The quality of care in the UK is actually better than in the US, with NHS healthcare ranked 18th in the world and the US ranked 37th.

Educate yourself before you comment, and especially before you vote.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:18 am

wouldn’t make me mad. good for you billy bob!!

WBK

July 28th, 2009
11:18 am

Will

July 28th, 2009
10:56 am
How about I keep you in court for years? Can you afford this? This is legal terrorism! It should happen to you because I believe in equal opportunity.

Hey you want inexpensive or government healthcare? Serve twenty years with the federal government or the military and you will have it. Good idea?

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:19 am

TISH, Wow you are ignorant. Please don’t have any kids and screw up the future of this country.

confused

July 28th, 2009
11:22 am

jacksmith, i’m confused…..it’s all the Republicans fault? The Democrats control the whitehouse, the house, and the senate. there are not enough republicans to stop ANY legislation that democrats want to pass?? so before you launch into blaming republicans, look at the democratically controlled washington, d.c…….and one other note, poor BO inherited a terrible mess? let’s refresh memories, the democrats have controlled congress for the past four years now, not just this year, and our great leader was helping out in the senate, too.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:23 am

Jack: you do know the major issues with the report that you are relying upon, right?

WBK

July 28th, 2009
11:25 am

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:19 am
Why is TISH statement ignorant? Can you provide a link for that?

basementfrog

July 28th, 2009
11:25 am

The healthcare issue in the US points to only one fact: our politicians are corrupt and only into the political business for their personal financial reward.

A simple medical program with a single payer able to walk into any medical office and get help at minimal cost is impossible in the US because politicians must figure in a method of exploitation and abuse masked in an elaborate, confusing construct. Corruption by design for the benefit of a few who exploit the many. It is a convenient lie that our system is just too complex.

Here it is for the brain dead laid out: individual goes to any doctor; doctor has access to any persons medical records; doctor finds problem and recommends treatment; patient gets treatment; the bill is sent to a processing center at the state level, but run by the fed; the bill is paid no questions asked. The price for medicine and procedures are set by the government; The individual does not need to pay extra, just their monthly payment for insurance – lets say $150 per adult and $50 per child per month. 100 Percent coverage. Private, for profit healthcare is finished.

The opponents say “this will cost $1 trillion over 10 years.”

Are you kidding me? The is $100 billion per year. That’s peanut for a national system of healthcare affordable to all people Americans. Kinda like what politicians and state and federal employees enjoy now, but available to all.

A week ago the opponents of healthcare due to cost actually supported the purchase of 5 presidental helicopters for $470 billion dollars and the purchase of 7 fighter jets for $100 billion each. that’s $1.2 tillion for the mathmatically challenged. And the president said he didn’t want or need the 5 new helicopters and Gates and a few honest generals said the planes were out-dated and useless. Yet, the order was being pushed along by the opponents of healthcare despited the waste of money.

Why are the opponents so willing to buy useless and unnecessary equipment for defense contractors, but refuse to direct that money to establishing an honest, simple healthcare system for all americans?

Graft; it’s just that simple. The ability to buy over priced equipment with payoffs going to contractors and politicians’ offshare bank accounts alike is blatant and massively lucrative.

Without build in corrpution for stealing tax payer dollars, nothing in the US will get past by the legislative body, the House or Senate. “What is in it for me” is the rule of the game in DC (at state levels, too).

The open, blatant theft of US tax payer dollars by corrupt elected officials is at the base of every decision.

Our country is plagued by cheats, liars, and theives.

But if you want proof: $350 billion in tax dollars owed by the very rich (people with incomes over a million a year). Close all offshore accounts, turn the IRS loose on rich tax cheats and collect that $350 billion per year for the benefit of providing healthcare for all.

That will more that pay for it.

Just get any politician to try closing and collecting on those accounts.

Right!

That’s cutting their own ablility to cheat US tax payers and hide their lucrative dealings with lobbyists.

TISH

July 28th, 2009
11:26 am

LIBERAL, I SERVED FORTY YEARS IN THE MILITARY AND AM ONE OF MILLIONS OF SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN THAT GAVE YOU A FUTURE!!!!

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:26 am

lobbyist, although i disagree with TISHs characterization, like i said before, Biden has stated such on the record. now, i know biden is the last person anyone should be taking at face value, but when he pulls his head out of his you know what, sometimes, through his moronic comments, he brings a shred of truth.

Sam

July 28th, 2009
11:26 am

i know 5 unemployed people who pick up their free checks and go buy pot…

Sounds good. where do I sign up?

yeah right

July 28th, 2009
11:27 am

Health care is stillborn. Sorry libiots.

dave

July 28th, 2009
11:27 am

To all you progressive “birds” who post here, I know you still won’t “get it”

545 PEOPLE
By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them!

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

100 Senators, 435 Congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices— 545 human beings out of the 300 million — are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board, because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.

Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi.She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army and the Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ .

If they do not receive Social Security, but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation”, or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people, who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Northern Songs, Ltd.

July 28th, 2009
11:27 am

I’m late to the party as usual

GET REAL @ 9:12 — You hit the nail on the head!! Please keep repeating that post once an hour – maybe the nutters here will finally get a clue.

Aj

July 28th, 2009
11:27 am

jacksmith, you are a moron! If you think the health care system is so bad here go to Canada or Europe! I don’t see people running to those countries to have operations.

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:27 am

WBK, First show me how Obama is acting like Hitler? If you can then I will say sorry to TISH.

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:29 am

If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you’ll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.

In promoting his health-care agenda, President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans — and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform.

A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Health committee, contradict the President’s assurances. To be sure, it isn’t easy to comb through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language. But page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage.

If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your company’s Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and diagnostic tests — you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that herald a health-care revolution.

In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage — including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money — but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can’t have. It’s a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.

Let’s explore the five freedoms that Americans would lose under Obamacare:

1. Freedom to choose what’s in your plan

The bills in both houses require that Americans purchase insurance through “qualified” plans offered by health-care “exchanges” that would be set up in each state. The rub is that the plans can’t really compete based on what they offer. The reason: The federal government will impose a minimum list of benefits that each plan is required to offer.

Today, many states require these “standard benefits packages” — and they’re a major cause for the rise in health-care costs. Every group, from chiropractors to alcohol-abuse counselors, do lobbying to get included. Connecticut, for example, requires reimbursement for hair transplants, hearing aids, and in vitro fertilization.

The Senate bill would require coverage for prescription drugs, mental-health benefits, and substance-abuse services. It also requires policies to insure “children” until the age of 26. That’s just the starting list. The bills would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to add to the list of required benefits, based on recommendations from a committee of experts. Americans, therefore, wouldn’t even know what’s in their plans and what they’re required to pay for, directly or indirectly, until after the bills become law.

2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs

As with the previous example, the Obama plan enshrines into federal law one of the worst features of state legislation: community rating. Eleven states, ranging from New York to Oregon, have some form of community rating. In its purest form, community rating requires that all patients pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age or medical condition.

Americans with pre-existing conditions need subsidies under any plan, but community rating is a dubious way to bring fairness to health care. The reason is twofold: First, it forces young people, who typically have lower incomes than older workers, to pay far more than their actual cost, and gives older workers, who can afford to pay more, a big discount. The state laws gouging the young are a major reason so many of them have joined the ranks of uninsured.

Under the Senate plan, insurers would be barred from charging any more than twice as much for one patient vs. any other patient with the same coverage. So if a 20-year-old who costs just $800 a year to insure is forced to pay $2,500, a 62-year-old who costs $7,500 would pay no more than $5,000.

Second, the bills would ban insurers from charging differing premiums based on the health of their customers. Again, that’s understandable for folks with diabetes or cancer. But the bills would bar rewarding people who pursue a healthy lifestyle of exercise or a cholesterol-conscious diet. That’s hardly a formula for lower costs. It’s as if car insurers had to charge the same rates to safe drivers as to chronic speeders with a history of accidents.

3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage

The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven by consumers spending their own money. That’s what makes a market, and health care needs more of it, not less.

Hundreds of companies now offer Health Savings Accounts to about 5 million employees. Those workers deposit tax-free money in the accounts and get a matching contribution from their employer. They can use the funds to buy a high-deductible plan — say for major medical costs over $12,000. Preventive care is reimbursed, but patients pay all other routine doctor visits and tests with their own money from the HSA account. As a result, HSA users are far more cost-conscious than customers who are reimbursed for the majority of their care.

The bills seriously endanger the trend toward consumer-driven care in general. By requiring minimum packages, they would prevent patients from choosing stripped-down plans that cover only major medical expenses. “The government could set extremely low deductibles that would eliminate HSAs,” says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market research group. “And they could do it after the bills are passed.”

4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills appear to say otherwise. It’s worth diving into the weeds — the territory where most pundits and politicians don’t seem to have ventured.

The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don’t have real insurance. Those are the GEs and Time Warners and most other big companies.

The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are “grandfathered.” Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they want — they’re exempt from standard packages and community rating and can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.

But read on.

The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the “qualified” policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we’ve already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, “keeping your own plan” has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you’ll get dumped into the exchange. As we’ll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren’t under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only “qualified” plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there’s a catch. If the plan changes in any way — by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug — the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it’s likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.

5. Freedom to choose your doctors

The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges — and as we’ve seen, that will soon be most Americans — must get their care through something called “medical home.” Medical home is similar to an HMO. You’re assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists.

Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago. It was consumer outrage over despotic gatekeepers that made the HMOs so unpopular, and killed what was billed as the solution to America’s health-care cost explosion.

The bills do not specifically rule out fee-for-service plans as options to be offered through the exchanges. But remember, those plans — if they exist — would be barred from charging sick or elderly patients more than young and healthy ones. So patients would be inclined to game the system, staying in the HMO while they’re healthy and switching to fee-for-service when they become seriously ill. “That would kill fee-for-service in a hurry,” says Goodman.

In reality, the flexible, employer-based plans that now dominate the landscape, and that Americans so cherish, could disappear far faster than the 5 year “grace period” that’s barely being discussed.

Companies would have the option of paying an 8% payroll tax into a fund that pays for coverage for Americans who aren’t covered by their employers. It won’t happen right away — large companies must wait a couple of years before they opt out. But it will happen, since it’s likely that the tax will rise a lot more slowly than corporate health-care costs, especially since they’ll be lobbying Washington to keep the tax under control in the righteous name of job creation.

The best solution is to move to a let-freedom-ring regime of high deductibles, no community rating, no standard benefits, and cross-state shopping for bargains (another market-based reform that’s strictly taboo in the bills). I’ll propose my own solution in another piece soon on Fortune.com. For now, we suffer with a flawed health-care system, but we still have our Five Freedoms. Call them the Five Endangered Freedoms.

Copyrighted, Fortune. All rights reserved.

Redneck Convert (R--And proud of it)

July 28th, 2009
11:30 am

Well, this guvmint health care is going to ruin all of us. Not just the cost. I expect we’ll be seeing funeral home hearses in the basement of every hospitle. If some old codger comes in and they decide he costs too much they’ll just give him a little shot and wheel him down to the basement and let the hearses haul him out. I can see the looks on old peoples faces now. The hospitle? O no, not the hospitle!

confused

July 28th, 2009
11:32 am

Dave @ 11:27, WELL SAID, and 100% TRUE!!!!

crazy joe

July 28th, 2009
11:32 am

WTF!!! Wooten’s still alive!!!! DANGGGGG the devil really DOES take care of his own!!

Jake

July 28th, 2009
11:34 am

billie bob – Better get to lobbying, sounds like your commission is one of those wasteful inefficiencies that will be eliminated! But as long as you can get it, enjoy.

WBK

July 28th, 2009
11:34 am

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:29 am
Good information! I wonder if the progressive liberals can get the same message I get from it. Probably not!!

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:36 am

WBK,

Are you ignoring me? Maybe you agree TISH was ignorant too now.

They used ta call me crazy joe now they call me the bat man!

July 28th, 2009
11:37 am

Hawaii says that Obama really WAS born there in 1961. HA!!! I know for a fact, that he was actually born in Canada in 1971!!! His mom, was carrying him the ABORTED him in 61 THEN in 1971 she decided to recarry him. While on a trip to Kansas, his mom, who has bad eyesight and bad directions, made a wrong turn into Canada and six minutes after crossing the border into Canada, she gave birth to that black man!!! THEN came to find out that SHE wasn’t really a US citizen either!!! She was born in Cambodia while her father was there in the military. But HE wasn’t a citizen either!!! He BECAME a citizen AFTER her birth!!! Her mother was NEVER a citizen of the US — she came from Switzerland and refused to take US Citizenship!!!

That’s the truth folks!! So help me, that’s the truth!!!

eagle scout

July 28th, 2009
11:38 am

I wonder if Judge Sonia Sotomayor can produce a birth certificate? Hmmmmmmm…..

I hope Lou Dobbs and Rush are all over this!

whatever

July 28th, 2009
11:38 am

what is amazing is that, despite the numerous comments from both sides, we havent yet gone onto a second page.

yeah right

July 28th, 2009
11:40 am

What’s a progressive liberal? One of them who actually works? I think that term was invented by pollsters, and has no basis in fact. Michael Jackson is still dead. So is the kenyan’s healthcare.

Kelly

July 28th, 2009
11:40 am

I am for some form of universal healthcare, just not sure how it should look or work. The question that I have are for those saying that the “government” will be making the decisions for you and the decisions will not be made by the doctor and patient. For those of us that currently have healthcare or have had it in the past, do you realize that medical procedures where not decided solely by the doctor and patient but also the INSURANCE company. If a certain procedure was deemed not necessary by your insurance company, it would not be paid for even if you and your doctor thought it was necessary.

For those that keep saying that the government will be deciding what medical procedures you have, you may be correct, I don’t know but you must also agree that this is already being done now with the insurance companies. I am all for having a debate but please let’s tell both sides of the story.

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:41 am

Well said Kelly

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:44 am

yeah right.. Another Ignorant poster in AJC. Did you see it was said that Obama was born in Hawaii? Festival of Ignorance today and they are all meeting in AJC

Jack

July 28th, 2009
11:45 am

whatever: I’m not relying on a study; these figures are from the federal budget.

If you mean to argue that the quality of healthcare in the USA is actually better than the UK, I’d say on the basis of personal experience that you’re mistaken.

But it’s a moot point anyway: If you live in the UK and you don’t like the NHS, you can still pay for private insurance. Private insurance available in the UK is substantially cheaper, and while you’re still paying taxes toward the NHS they don’t cost substantially more than the amount of tax you’d be paying to fund Medicare/Medicaid in the USA.

All told, an average brit with private health cover is perhaps $3000 per year better off than an American with the same cover, if you take both taxes and insurance into account.

newone

July 28th, 2009
11:48 am

people you do not want the govt telling you where go see a dr that causes you to loose freedom of choice. i am 64 and i want drs i am use to having not someone may not know what they are doing. then have problem of long waiting periods to be seen by a dr come on people seems me we getting closer to being commies then ever

the man

July 28th, 2009
11:49 am

Lobbyist is trying to play the race card. One of you pelosi lovers help a goof out.

Rhonda

July 28th, 2009
11:51 am

I am a widow with 3 children (2 in college), that lost her job, my insurance per month is 800 with a 5000 dollar deductible. I had/have medical problems over the summer and it was like pulling teeth to get some of the test approved from the ins. co……I cannot afford the insurance anymore and am afraid I am going to have to drop it. I do not see any difference in private ins. and gov. ins., private will not approve things either. I was on a blog last week saying the same thing. I was hoping that at least we would have a choice. I am a Republican, but I AM TIRED of people saying you are lazy if you want a handout. I do not want a handout, I just want affordable health care.

Get Real

July 28th, 2009
11:54 am

First off, use one font. Second, it appears that you’re in favor of insurance companies denying coverage to individuals and charging them higher rates based on what time of day it is, and the positioning of the moon. Everything that you claim is so ‘radical’ about government run health care is already happening in the private sector. Private bureaucrats at insurance headquarters decide what plan of treatment individuals receive. Tort reform gives preference to doctors over patients they’ve injured or killed. Studies conducted by the National Practitioners Data Bank (http://www.citizen.org/documents/NPDB%20Report_Final.pdf) found that medical malpractice claims have fallen over the years, even though chickenhawk republicans such as yourself have claimed that ‘frivolous lawsuits’ are whats the problem with health care.

So why believe you now when you say the ‘radical’ democrats have the audacity to try and pass a health care plan that will cover most Americans. As if there is a problem with that. The cost to treat uninsured and underinsured patients are already being passed on to individuals through higher premiums. But you’d rather maintain the status quo. Why? It only serves the purpose of the insurance companies… Is that why you want to maintain the poor level of service with up to 98,000 patients killed per year due to medical errors? Even the malpractice premiums doctors pay are paid for by patients through higher costs, but you have no problem with that. Only who will receive those higher costs. Retire man, you’re out of your league now.

Kelly

July 28th, 2009
12:05 pm

To Rhonda, I agree with you 100%. Just because you can’t afford health insurance people automatically assume that you want a handout when asking for some form of universal healthcare. Just like in Rhonda’s case, it could be as simple as not wanting to pay an arm and a leg just to have coverage. For others it could be the choice of doctors, pre-existing conditions, etc. What good is insurance if I can’t afford it or they won’t cover my pre-existing condition or some other special circumstance?

Laurie

July 28th, 2009
12:06 pm

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about the “nonprofit cooperative” on NPR news. When you think about it, this option makes great sense. It takes the profitability away from the middle man, so that almost all the payer’s premiums are used to pay for medical costs, and does not feed the corproate profit machines that exist today. The best thing about co-ops…. at the end of the year, any money left over is given back to the payors, and not lining the pockets of some SOB exec. I don’t favor a “public” option, but “for profit” healthcare isn’t working either.

Mac

July 28th, 2009
12:14 pm

We just need to adopt the model used very successfully for decades by the other Western nations. It’s what an advanced society does for itself. The system works, and those Americans who rail against it (without any real evidence, mind you) are just spouting propaganda.

eagle scout

July 28th, 2009
12:16 pm

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
11:44 am

If you were referring to my post….Read between the lines. It was satire!

ha ha

July 28th, 2009
12:24 pm

Bookmans on vacation, the libtards are lost.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
12:36 pm

Mac – That’s where we’re going. The thought was that Americans would find the denial of benefits parts very hard to take but in a few years allowing the elderly and the very ill to just die will seem quite normal.

Mac

July 28th, 2009
12:42 pm

See Jake, that’s just the dead wrong (pun intended) propaganda I was referring to. Good boy. Here’s a treat for you.

starbuck

July 28th, 2009
12:44 pm

Hell I already wait 4 weeks for medication through Medco!! Who wants to take 4 week old medication that’s been floating around in the postal system?? Give me a plan that I can go back to the local pharmacy and not have to pay double co-pay which is what is is now.

Jackie

July 28th, 2009
12:45 pm

@whatever

I made no implication relative to everyone paying into the current system. I was merely pointing out what happens in a system that is/is not all inclusive. To further break down the analysis, if there were a single-payer system in place -socialism as many like to call it – like that of Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, well you get it, we would have a single amount paid to handle our health insurance premium.

Australians pay roughly 7% of their salaries toward their health care and everything is covered. There is no such thing is a pre-existing exclusion.

If you could find the time, please explain how my logic is flawed?

Jefferson

July 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

New thinking won the election. Name calling and same ole same ole loses. Parties have to change to win. “D”s did, it worked.

Better come up with something, nothing loses.

JackLeg

July 28th, 2009
12:49 pm

Hey Aquagirl, why would they exclude the dead people? They voted for Obozo…

Jackie, I guess you live in an alternate reality.
“Universal health care is based upon shared risk, therefore, each citizen pays $10 to cover those medical cost along with other monies required to meet the profit margins of insurance companies.”
The loser who does not pay now is not going to pay in the future so who gets stuck with the bill? Oh that’s right the government, but the government does not have any money, they steal it from us, the working poor.

JackLeg

July 28th, 2009
12:55 pm

Jackie your logic is flawed because when people in Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, get really sick where do they go for treatment? They come here dingbat, that is because we have the best healthcare in the world. If you think that medical care is so good there, why do they come here? By the way Canada has a 55% tax, do you really think that we would pay less than that?

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
12:56 pm

@the man

When you cannot debate based on merit, use names calling and use the race card. Very sad but can be totally expected.

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
12:59 pm

@ eagle scout

It was not your post..

lobbyist

July 28th, 2009
1:05 pm

@ Jefferson

Well said.. IF you play the same old story everytime you will lose. The republicans were saying why the healthcare reform in 45,93 and 09. So keep up the good work and become more meaningless

confused

July 28th, 2009
1:09 pm

going back to jacksmith one more time……..two things……i think we have the BEST hospitals and doctors in the world, just MY opinion, but we are AMERICA……i don’t believe we are 37th in the world, and to prove that point, if someone you know got a serious illness and needed the best treatment in the world, and you could take them anywhere in the world, then please list for me the 36 places you would take that person before “settling” for American healthcare????

jacksmith

July 28th, 2009
1:11 pm

LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Thomas Paine)

We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. A trillion dollar taxpayer funded private health insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one. Co-OP’s ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION. They are a fraud being pushed by the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry that is KILLING YOU!

YOU CANT HAVE AN INSURANCE MANDATE WITHOUT A ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION. MANDATING PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE AS YOUR ONLY CHOICE WOULD BE UNETHICAL, CORRUPT, AND MORALLY REPUGNANT. AND PROBABLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS WELL.

These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will help you feel better too.

There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. :-)

God Bless You

jacksmith — Working Class

I REST MY CASE (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

* Richard Shelby of Alabama
* Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
* John McCain of Arizona
* Mel Martinez of Florida
* Johnny Isakson of Georgia
* Mike Crapo of Idaho
* Chuck Grassley of Iowa
* Sam Brownback of Kansas
* Jim Bunning of Kentucky
* David Vitter of Louisiana
* Kit Bond of Missouri
* Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
* Richard Burr of North Carolina
* George Voinovich of Ohio
* Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
* Jim DeMint of South Carolina
* John Thune of South Dakota
* Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
* Bob Bennett of Utah

Jack

July 28th, 2009
1:13 pm

JackLeg – The top rate of income tax in Canada is 29%. The top rate in the USA is 35%.

Your ‘55% tax’ is imaginary, as are all the ‘really sick’ people from the UK and Canada coming to the US for treatment. The people from the USA ordering drugs from Canadian pharmacies because they’re cheaper are quite real, however.

WHO

July 28th, 2009
1:15 pm

“to prove that point, if someone you know got a serious illness and needed the best treatment in the world, and you could take them anywhere in the world, then please list for me the 36 places you would take that person before “settling” for American healthcare????”

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica

The real issue

July 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Again, we all know that there are problems with the system. However, a gov’t run healthcare system is not the answer. Get all agendas out of the way and figure out what will work best to address the problems the system has (Affordability , IT/PHR linking patient and doctor, pre-existing conditions, TORT Reform).

Jack

July 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

>However, a gov’t run healthcare system is not the answer.

Would you mind explaining why not? It seems to work fine for every other industrialised nation.

Personally I don’t care what the solution is as long as it works, but all of the proven systems I’m aware of are government run or some form of hybrid system like the French use.

At-Large

July 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

Remember when your family doctor could tell you, in plain English, what was wrong and what they were gonna do to help you feel better and make you well.
Remember when Blue Cross/Blue Shield was a nonprofit, membership owned organization whose board of directors voted to morph into a private, forprofit to better serves it’s “members” (translation: customers). That was to help make everybody feel better.
Does it feel better today than when Harry S Truman first started talking about reforming healthcare 50 years ago? I din’t think so.
One day you might be able to say, “I remember when the U.S, government finally won the 50-year fight against a greedy healthcare industry that spent a billion dollars on Fox News and in PAC funds to support obstructionist Republicans to continually confuse the issues for people who never can seem to think for themselves.”
Maybe one day and, we hope one day soon, you’ll visit your family doctor and instead of prescribing 50 “inconclusive” but expensive tests, she’ll simply say: “You’re obese, out of shape and ugly. Take two aspirins and if your’re not feeling better, call me in the morning.”

Dunwoody Mike

July 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

Whatever Posted…okay, maybe i am confused (and that is admittedly a good possibility).

1) where is health care coverage a right?
2) where in my contract with the insurance company does it say that they have to provide me with coverage in all instances?

Whatever,

Ever heard about a little thing called human respect and dignity? Allowing someone to be bankrupted, evicted from their home, or worse, because they do not have access to affordable health care is an affront to human rights.

Do the Math

July 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

National Health Care Spending

In 2008, health care spending in the United States reached $2.4 trillion, and was projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012.1 Health care spending is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2016.1
Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense.3
In 2008, the United States will spend 17 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected that the percentage will reach 20 percent by 2017.1
Although nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens.3
Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.4

Employer and Employee Health Insurance Costs

Premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by 5.0 percent in 2008. In 2007, small employers saw their premiums, on average, increase 5.5 percent. Firms with less than 24 workers, experienced an increase of 6.8 percent.2
The annual premium that a health insurer charges an employer for a health plan covering a family of four averaged $12,700 in 2008. Workers contributed nearly $3,400, or 12 percent more than they did in 2007.2 The annual premiums for family coverage significantly eclipsed the gross earnings for a full-time, minimum-wage worker ($10,712).
Workers are now paying $1,600 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 1999.2
Since 1999, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 120 percent, compared to cumulative inflation of 44 percent and cumulative wage growth of 29 percent during the same period.2
Health insurance expenses are the fastest growing cost component for employers. Unless something changes dramatically, health insurance costs will overtake profits by the end of 2008.5
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in the United States have been rising four times faster on average than workers’ earnings since 1999.2
The average employee contribution to company-provided health insurance has increased more than 120 percent since 2000. Average out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments for medications, and co-insurance for physician and hospital visits rose 115 percent during the same period.6
The percentage of Americans under age 65 whose family-level, out-of-pocket spending for health care, including health insurance, that exceeds $2,000 a year, rose from 37.3 percent in 1996 to 43.1 percent in 2003 – a 16 percent increase.7

Paul A

July 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

Quit blaming the “obstructionist Republicans”.

Democrats have all the votes they need to pass this junk bill.

It’s the Dems holding you weaklings up. If Pelosi and Reid had their stuff together it would already have been passes just like the other trash they’ve thrust upon those who work.

BTW… quit blogging from mommie’s basement and get a job!

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

Transplants reconstruction surgery and other major medical procedures will stop at age 60. Unless user pays out of pocket for those procedures.

I imagine when you hit 60 and start feeling under the weather, you’ll change your tune right quick about that.

mary

July 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

No goverment run health it will ruin are country. NO PUBLIC HEALTH CARE!! They need to worry about jobs !! Half of MY Family is layoff!! PLease lets get smart and wake up!

R.D.Mercer

July 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

The gov’t. passed laws requiring all US citizen’s to buy auto insurance, which pleased the insurance companies, but the insurance companies don’t want the gov’t. to pass laws requiring them to provide us with health insurance. Why can’t the insurance companies use the profits they make from auto insurance to offset the costs of health insurance? Or better yet pay dividends to those of us who don’t have an automobile insurance claim over the course of the year to help pay for our own health insurance?

Paul A

July 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

At the current pace, the Federal Debt will be doubled in less than eight years. It took 43 Presidents to get the debt to ten trillion dollars. Obama will double it in less than eight. The current deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars is more than the last five years of Bush’s deficits combined. And, last night in his sales pitch on health care, Obama says that this year’s deficit is inherited from President Bush. Who is he kidding?

http://www.usdebtclock.org

Click the link…. I dare you.

The real issue

July 28th, 2009
2:29 pm

Jack, I disagree that the gov’t options around the world have actually been sucessful. I like you want something that works but it would not come from a program run by the gov’t. What have they ever run correctly? To get an idea of what we might be in for, please study the Massachusetts model they adopted a few years back. To put it lightly, the model was a failure. Also, Switzerland and the Netherlands have recently enacted systems that actually move away from public coverage and to health plans. We all know how our buddies to the North systems works. They all come here. If we do adopt a gov’t run system in the U.S. I’d invest directly into Medical Tourism companies.

jconservative

July 28th, 2009
2:32 pm

Tray
“Social Security-Yeah, like that will be there when most of us hit retirement age”

Tray, you are correct. Social Security, AKA Reagan Security, will be gone when you reach the age President Reagan said you could start drawing. You will draw nothing if you plan on drawing past about 2020. Social Security would already be gone & all that money stolen out of your paychecks all these years would still be in your pocket if that great American conservative Ronald Reagan had not made a deal with Tip O’Neil & “saved” it. That’s why we now call it Reagan Security. Now you know who to thank.

Jake

July 28th, 2009
2:49 pm

jcon – The traitor Reagan did raise the rates allowing SS to remain solvent for a lot more years. However, he stopped short of making it permanently solvent by raising the rate eveen more, including a needs test for beneficiaries, etc.

clyde

July 28th, 2009
3:21 pm

Given the large number of Canadians in hospital in their country I doubt that they’re all coming here for health care.

Curious Observer

July 28th, 2009
3:21 pm

Raising the withholding rates for SS was one thing. However, creating a tax on half the SS income for people over certain income levels was quite another. Many wound up paying tax again on withholdings on which they’d already been taxed. It’s not as though SS contributions were tax-exempt in the first place–or even tax-deferred.

Jack

July 28th, 2009
3:31 pm

>Jack, I disagree that the gov’t options around the world have actually been sucessful. I like you want something that works but it would not come from a program run by the gov’t. What have they ever run correctly?

How about the fire department? Or the roads? Or any one of the thousands of things the government runs quietly in the background which you never notice to complain about? This idea that anything the government runs is going to be as dingy and unpleasant as the DMV is just false.

You can disagree all you like, but the evidence says that the healthcare programmes of other countries have been successful. Can you show me a country that uses a non-public healthcare system that is as effective as that of France or England?

>To get an idea of what we might be in for, please study the Massachusetts model they adopted a few years back. To put it lightly, the model was a failure.

Massachusetts doesn’t have public healthcare, it has subsidised healthcare which suffers from many of the same problems that private healthcare does – predominantly, being overpriced.

A real example of failed nationalised healthcare in the USA would be the TennCare system Tennessee adopted briefly, but that suffered from several serious problems that organisations such as the NHS have long ago solved. There was no organisation like NICE to ensure that treatments were good value for money, and there were no prescription fees, so the system was massively overutilised – it was cheaper to go to the doctor and get a prescription for cold medicine than to just go and buy it over the counter, so the state ended up covering countless unnecessary prescriptions AND doctor’s visits. On top of that it had to buy care in the same inflated market that the nation-wide private healthcare regime creates, so the money didn’t go as far as it would in Canada or the UK.

Ayn Rand was right

July 28th, 2009
3:39 pm

Good afternoon everyone.

Neutron – I am sorry about your girlfriend and her difficult situation. Given her circumstances, at least she was able to purchase insurance to keep her alive and comfortable for some time. Under a government run program, that would not be the case. Once labeled terminal, a patients care will be minimized to ensure more services for the living.

Personally, I think the very best choice would be to eliminate the middle man immediately. By out-lawing health insurance, doctors could get back to the business of doctoring, and all that money you pay into health insurance could be put in an account for YOUR health care needs. Now that is a plan that will work for those who are responsible, and for those that choose to spend their money elsewhere, they can negotiate a deal with the doctors like the old days.

Add up all the money you pay into your health insurance plan and see how much you would have to take care of a dire situation. By the way, those who currently cannot afford to pay for insurance (or choose not to do so) will be out of luck if this passes. The costs will be deducted from your paycheck. You go to JAIL for not paying your taxes. See if that does not put a crimp in your wallet.

billy bob from cobb

July 28th, 2009
3:48 pm

rd not sure you noticed but blue cross does not sell auto insurance

At-Large

July 28th, 2009
3:49 pm

Paulie: I’m not blaming obstructionist Repubs, but I am explaining that they and a lot of well-paid others are confusing the issues involved with healthcare. Listen to all the well-placed buzz words used in this blog that collectively sounds like classic anarchy. This all started with the Magna Carta as a basis for government’s role in the lived of its governed. This dialogue is descending into the toilet with many harping that government owes us nothing. Au contraire, goverment has to served the needs of the governed … immediate, imagined or otherwise.

Jackie

July 28th, 2009
3:58 pm

@Jackleg

Either you watch too much television or listen to Rush with the mistaken belief that you are being told the truth, SLOW MOTION!

What your post tells me is that you are using innuendo and half-truths to prove your invalid and specious point, of which you have none!

The real issue

July 28th, 2009
4:25 pm

Jack, the French pay tons in taxes to fund their system. I’d prefer to make some other changes before giving up 40% of my income to adopt the French model. Our system is broken but to let gov’t run the operation is a recipe for disaster. Allow insurers to cross state lines providing the system with competition (Ex. Gas station A has gas for $2.00 and gas station B across the street has gas for $1.50. In order to stay in business, gas station A will have to lower its cost to compete with gas B. Therefore, bring cost under control. Why shouldn’t Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia be able to compete with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio for customers? Cost will NEVER be under control until we make people responsible for their own healthcare choices.

reservoirDAWG

July 28th, 2009
4:31 pm

Because insurance is regulated on a state level and not a federal level. P and C insurance sales people lobby hard to keep it that way.

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 28th, 2009
4:33 pm

Gas station A has gas for $2.00 and gas station B across the street has gas for $1.50. In order to stay in business, gas station A will have to lower its cost to compete with gas B

Or Gas station A goes and talks to Gas station B and they decide to both charge $2.10. True, it’s not legal, but it can and does happen.

indthinker

July 28th, 2009
4:59 pm

one of the flaws in the report that says that america has the 37th best healthcare in the world is that there is no way to scale up healthcare costs. look at the countries ahead of us, both in size and in geographic scope, look at the number of immigrants and indigents in those countries, and the influx of new people looking for healthcare.

That is the flaw in this study.

Jack

July 28th, 2009
5:10 pm

The real issue: How much do you earn? Because I agree, 40% of your income is an awful lot of tax, but that’s not how much the French pay. You can look yourself up on this table to find out roughly how much income tax you’d be paying now if you lived in france. Bear in mind this only takes into account Federal Income Tax.

Income Fr Tax US Tax % Extra paid by French
$10,000 0.94% 2.57% -1.63%
$30,000 7.80% 10.86% -3.06%
$50,000 14.53% 15.17% -0.64%
$75,000 19.68% 18.45% 1.24%
$100,000 22.42% 20.21% 2.21%
$200,000 31.21% 26.60% 4.60%
$350,000 34.98% 29.35% 5.63%

Average income in France is $44,000.

hryder

July 28th, 2009
5:15 pm

What the Big O is attempting to foist on the American public is not insurance. Prepaid health care is a term that comes closest to describing what he eagerly desires except that those who are the leeches on society will be having theirs paid by the taxpayers. Insurance is to guarantee against loss from defined incidents or conditions. When by law you require all to participate regardless of their circumstances for the same amount of premiums(taxes in this case unless you are one of the leeches) it is not insurance. Just consult an actuary if you are ignorant enough to accept that the Big O’s proposals are insurance.

Jack

July 28th, 2009
5:24 pm

indthinker: The WHO report didn’t measure costs, only results. So you’re accusing it of not taking scaling of costs into account, when scaling of costs is totally irrelevant.

Also, Canada has a lower population density than the USA, and the EU absorbs more immigrants. Both have publicly run healthcare systems with better results than the USA.

booger

July 28th, 2009
5:43 pm

Jack,

I lived and worked in England and also had an office in Paris. The income tax rates you show are Fed. taxes only. A seperate social tax is levied for healthcare and pensions. In the UK there is a 10% national health tax. This is paid even if you opt to buy Private Insurance, which anyone with the means chooses to do. The national system is dismal.

Bud Wiser

July 28th, 2009
6:05 pm

Obama and the Democrats proposed health ‘care’ adjustments, in my opinion, draw a very dark similarity in style and substance as far as the bleak outlook for senior citizens to Adolph Hitler and the Nazis approach to dealing with the Jews.

And the really sick funny part of it is that AARP and most of the Jews in this country voted for him.

And sicker still is the belief of the black and minorities in this person to the point that one must assume they have no parents over the age of 55, are not that old themselves, or that “it don’t apply to us cause we gots Obama”.

You can’t legislate smart from stupid, and the Obamaniacs are, quite simply, a collection of stupid racist morons.

Jack

July 28th, 2009
6:15 pm

booger: I live in the UK. There is no such thing as a “10% national health tax”, you just made that up. I certainly haven’t been paying it. The taxes I pay are National Insurance (state pension contribution), Income Tax, Council Tax (a property tax) and VAT on purchases.

You are correct that my analysis only shows federal income tax. I posted it to counter the practice of taking the top rate of income tax in any non-US country and claiming that people there pay that much of their income in tax, which is simply not true.

I didn’t count other French taxes, but I also didn’t count US state taxes either.

booger

July 28th, 2009
6:38 pm

Jack,

National Insurance tax includes health care. I lived there from 1993 to 1997. At that time it was 10%. don’t know what it is today. The VAT is the most onerous and there is one more. The TV tax. I’m sure there was another name but that’s what I called it.

The point here is that anyone with means uses private health care. My company provided insurance for private care, as did many other companies. One can make their own assumptions about the quality of the national system from that.

Another interesting thing in your French example is the fact that every one pays some income tax regardless of their income. I think you will find that true in most of Europe. This is in contrast to here where 43% pay nothing.

Jim morrison

July 28th, 2009
7:03 pm

Hey Dave, keep smoking that Obama weed.

How ya like that change?

Sucks doesn’t it, you moron!

Enough Said!

EVIL REPUBLICANS TIME IS UP

July 28th, 2009
7:21 pm

IF YOU EVIL REPUBLICANS TAKE A VOTE OF THE MADOFF INVESTORS IN FLORIDA WHO ARE REPUBLICAN,AND BROKE FROM THE MADOFF SCAM,ASK ANYONE OF THOSE USE TO BE RICH REPUBLICANS IF THEY WOULD WANT GOVERNMENT AID DEALING WITH MEDICAL COVERAGE?THEY WOULD TAKE THAT LIBRAL AID IN A HEARTBEAT,BECAUSE THEY ARE NOW BROKE,GET THE PICTURE,ONLY REPUBS ON HERE THAT`S AGAINST GOVERNMENT HELP ARE THE WELLOFF RICH REPUBS!

EVIL REPUBLICANS TIME IS UP

July 28th, 2009
7:29 pm

ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU SONNY SUXBY JOHNNY BUSH CHENEY AND RUMMY,FOR BREAKING THE RACIST REDNECKS DOWN TO POOR SUPER POVERTY,CLAP YOUR HANDS PEOPLE FOR A JOB WELL DONE,THEY HAD ALL OF 2000 TO 2006 AND THE DEMOCRAPS DIDNT HAVE ONLY PART OF IT,SO ALL THE GLORY GOES TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR LOSING ALL THE JOBS,HOMES AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY,GIVE A HIP HIP HOORAY FOR THE GOP!

Northern Songs LTD

July 28th, 2009
7:33 pm

Butt Wiper – this is wooten’s blog where, unlike bookman, you can be as vile as you’d like. let it rip. idiot.

legalbeaglenot

July 28th, 2009
9:12 pm

seriously, why does anyone ever say anything on these blogs. everyone here makes up stuff or spouts whatever media they listen to.

Michael H. Smith

July 28th, 2009
9:12 pm

Go Blue Dogs!

No ObumerCare Public Option single payer government run socialized healthcare system.

I’m glad to see support growing for Private Public Co Op Healthcare Plans.

State Health Care Co-Op Eyed As Model For National Plan
Senate Finance Committee Considering Idea

http://www.channel3000.com/politics/20207512/detail.html

getalife

July 28th, 2009
10:52 pm

Trusting corrupt Senator’s to do the right thing is not reality.

Mike’s toon is spot on.

You just can’t trust them when lobbyists are handing out millions.

Raider

July 29th, 2009
12:39 am

Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of – The Department of Energy?
Anybody? How about you Democrats, it was under President Carter – a Democrat.
No? Well I didn’t think so. So this Republican will tell you!
The bottom line is this. We’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency… the reason for which none of you Democrats can remember.
Ready? It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it was very appropriate and very much needed.
The department of Energy was instituted on 8-4-1977
TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL!
Pretty efficient huh?
And now its 2009, almost 2010 – 32 years later – and the budget for this very necessary “agency” is at 24.2 billion a year.
They have 16,000 Federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees
AND LOOK AT THE JOB THEY HAVE DONE!
This is where you say “Thank you Government, you are my hero”
What were we thinking at the time? – Are we ANY less dependent on foreign oil?
Answer that Democrats!
You created that agency – and now you want to do that we OUR HEALTH CARE – WITH OBAMACARE!
What will Americans say in 30 years with Socialized “Obamacare” as our health care?
Some pretty nasty stuff I can imagine!

Old Timer

July 29th, 2009
1:17 am

Obama/Pelosi medical plan with government running it is akin to the old Plantation boss hog type of no government. The Boss is in charge and you owe your due to the boss who is the plantation owner. Equal opportunity gone astray, the blacks will be back right to the beginnning they complain about. It would be nice, since they have more opportunities that my Caucasian kids don’t have tand they don’t take advantage of it. But I do see robbery, murder, car jackings, shootings evvery bnight on Atlanta TV. Iif Obama wants to crate CHANGE he need to make birth control pills manidtory in the black community, Atleast for a generation or two until the curent daddie less hoods are off t he street. . I have to carry a gun to drive through their neighborhoods for fear of idiots carjacking/robbing.. Atlanta should have no car jackings and they brag about the number being down. We haven’t had one car jack where I live.They know better. And we eat watermellon. I am not a biggiot, just a realist.

B Squared

July 29th, 2009
7:38 am

If you want to see a change in the tide in a presidency, watch this video. It’s CNN interviewing some Black Cambridge police officers who back Officer Crowley. The best is the woman who says: “I supported Obama, I voted for him, and I will never vote for him again.” WOW. Who are those 30 percenters that still support the Community Organizer In Chief again in polls that say he’s doing an excellent job? We’ve got to get that bozo out of office in 2012 along with the other America destroying bozos Pelosi and Reid in 2010. WAKE UP AMERICA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcvUhu5mqJM&feature=player_embedded

Curious Observer

July 29th, 2009
7:51 am

Let’s dispense with the notion that Congress has its own, separate health plan. It doesn’t. Members of Congress make the same choices that the hundreds of thousands of federal employees make. The federal government offers around 22 health plans, ranging from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to various United Healthcare alternatives, HMOs, PPOs, etc. There is no separate Congressional plan.

It’s this choice that’s missing in the so-called cooperative option. I don’t see how any cooperative is going to have the resources to negotiate fees with doctors, hospitals, etc., as the private healthcare companies do. Those negotiations are really significant in holding down costs. The private companies have the leverage, by virtue of the number of potential patients they offer, to bring an agreed-upon office visit fee down to, say, $37, instead of the $150 a physician might charge an uninsured patient. Either a physician plays ball or else he goes without the thousands of patients the insurer has.

At the same time, I don’t see how private insurers can compete with a truly federal single-payer plan. Such a federal plan would have a non-profit advantage, in addition to “owning” five times as many potential patients as any private plan.

What happened to the notion of simply allowing the currently uninsured Americans to choose from the same plans as are offered to federal employees and instituting a prohibition against exclusion by virtue of preexisting conditions? That was the campaign promise, the premise offered by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in setting forth their plans. Now we have Congress botching things badly. I fear that the outcome of the current Congressional negotiations is going to be a version of the old joke about a horse constructed by committee–a camel.

Jack

July 29th, 2009
8:24 am

booger: National Insurance is not a healthcare tax. Only 2% of NI payments are earmarked for the NHS, the rest is used to fund unemployment benefits and pensions. NI is not a healthcare tax, it is Social Security.

The TV license isn’t relevant, because it only pays for the BBC and nothing else. Slashing healthcare spending would do nothing to reduce the TV license fee. Whether publicly funded television should exist is another debate entirely.

You’re mistaken when you say that everyone who can afford it has private healthcare. Most people don’t bother with it, only taking it as you did when it’s a perk of employment.

For intensive care, emergency rooms and serious illness, the NHS generally provides better care. People go with private insurance when they want private rooms or, more importantly, don’t want to wait for routine operations. Often the same staff perform both NHS and private procedures, so suggesting that the level of care is lower on the NHS is nonsensical.

I used to live in the US. I was fully insured and two blocks from a major hospital, but getting to see a doctor took at least two weeks. Here in the UK I can get an appointment in under a week, with no fee. My experiences with the doctors here have been better. In the US my wife was prescribed expensive drugs indefinitely; when we moved to the UK seven years ago the doctors here stopped the prescription because it wasn’t doing any good and presented a small but potentially serious health risk in itself. The thing about private enterprise is that it has a strong incentive to sell you services whether you need them or not.

Your claim about income tax is also untrue. France has a 0 rate of income tax on the first $8,000 earned. In the US it’s only $5,700.

SS

July 29th, 2009
9:02 am

clyde

July 29th, 2009
12:00 pm

Munch,
Should you be reading,remember you owe me $10.

MPercy

July 29th, 2009
12:43 pm

Health care is not a right. Nor is housing, food, or any number of other things socialist nanny/welfare states try to say are fundamental human rights.

To me, it is a self-evident truth that your rights do not trump mine. If the only way you can afford food, shelter, clothing or health care is to force me and your other fellow citizens to pay for them, then you have essentially decided that it is worth enslaving others to meet your needs.

Imagine that tomorrow every doctor, nurse, P.A., EMT, etc.–every health-care provider–decided to quit their jobs and refused to practice medicine. How then will you exercise your health-care “rights”? Many people will say that doctors will have to be forced to provide care. And those people have just espoused a form of slavery–forced labor is a form of slavery.

Forcing others to pay for your health-care is only somewhat removed from that far-fetched scenario. Each dollar removed from someone to pay for your health care is a dollar they worked to earn. A portion of their alloted time on this Earth was confiscated from them for your benefit.

Raise The Teleprompters, It's Town Hall Time

July 29th, 2009
12:45 pm

Yeah, since Barry’s poll numbers are tanking faster than a rotten fish and his precious Commiecare is being rejected by even Democrats, it’s time to go run around the nation and sell himself campaign style. So how does he do that? Why bash Bush of course!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/29/obama-still-cashing-in-on-bushs-economic-failings/print/

Let’s see here: we were told unemployment wouldn’t get above 8%; we were told that the stimulus package would result in immediate job gains and job savings; we were told that this would be an open policy admnistration [and congress]; we were told that Commiecare would save the government money, not cost it money; we were told that Bush wiretapping was illegal and should be stopped. Yep, it’s all Bush’s fault alright. And these people want to take over the US health care system now? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????????

g.skill

July 29th, 2009
12:50 pm

“Health care is not a right. Nor is housing, food, or any number of other things socialist nanny/welfare states try to say are fundamental human rights.”

MPercy: you have to understand the socialist mindset of liberals. In their warped minds, the Constitution GRANTS rights, not *protects* rights as our Founding Fathers designed it. Their mentality is if the Constitution says the “Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” then that means everyone should be equal, even if said pursuits are punished via higher taxes, stolen health care taken over by gubment, and my personal favorite, being against private education because it’s not FAIR. Sick way of thinking, isn’t it.

MPercy

July 29th, 2009
12:58 pm

Jack’s #’s are off a bit. The CBO provides effective tax rates annually. In 2004/2005 they break down like this. About 45% of household in the US pay *negative* federal income taxes.

Columns are Income Rank, # of households (millions), Pretax income
($), and effective tax rate for federal income taxes.

2004
Lowest Quintile 23.6 15,800 -6.2
Second Quintile 21.9 37,200 -0.9
Middle Quintile 22.0 58,000 3.0
Fourth Quintile 22.3 84,500 5.9
Highest Quintile 23.0 214,500 13.9
All Quintiles 113.3 81,300 8.7
Top 10% 11.6 307,800 15.9
Top 5% 5.8 457,400 17.6
Top 1% 1.2 1,299,300 19.7

2005
Lowest Quintile 24.1 15,900 -6.5
Second Quintile 22.0 37,400 -1.0
Middle Quintile 22.2 58,500 3.0
Fourth Quintile 22.6 85,200 6.0
Highest Quintile 23.1 231,300 14.1
All Quintiles 114.5 84,800 9.0
Top 10% 11.7 339,100 16.0
Top 5% 5.8 520,200 17.6
Top 1% 1.1 1,558,500 19.4

g.skill

July 29th, 2009
1:00 pm

Joe Biden update: Lots of closed meetings, a poll number under Cheney

The news just keeps getting better and better for the Dems, doesn’t it?

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/07/joe-biden-update-2.html

david wayne osedach

July 29th, 2009
1:03 pm

Maybe some semblence of this bill will pass next year. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

g.skill

July 29th, 2009
1:04 pm

MPercy, and even better link on who pays income taxes at what proportion relative to income is found here:

http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6

Keep in mind that’s a three year old chart. So, 10% are paying over 70% of IRS personal income revenue, huh. It’s always amusing watching a liberal spin those facts with something like payroll taxes, social security and medicare/cade taxes, and general sales taxes.

MPercy

July 29th, 2009
1:29 pm

In 1980:

* the top 1% consisted of 932 thousand taxpayers who had AGI greater than $80,580
* they had a total of $138B in AGI, which comprised 8.4% of overall AGI
* they paid a total of $47B in taxes, which comprised 19.05% of the overall taxes
* their average effective tax rate was 34.47%
* per taxpayer, average revenue was $50,429

In 2006:

* the top 1% consisted of 1,357,192 taxpayers who had AGI greater than $388,806
* they had a total of $1,792B in AGI, which comprised 22.06% of overall AGI
* they paid a total of $408B in taxes, which comprised 39.89% of overall taxes
* their average effective tax rate was 22.79%
* per taxpayer, average revenue was $300,663

Even though the effective rate went down markedly, the amount of tax collected per taxpayer went up even more markedly, rising by a factor nearly six. And the share of taxes collected from this group more than doubled, although their share of income also went up 2.5x.

In 1980:

* the bottom 50% consisted of 46,619 thousand taxpayers who had positive AGI less than $12,936
* they had a total of $288B in AGI, which comprised 17.68% of overall AGI
* they paid a total of $18B in taxes, which comprised 7.05% of the overall taxes
* their average effective tax rate was 6.10%
* per taxpayer, average revenue was $386

In 2006:

* the bottom 50% consisted of 67,859,580 taxpayers who had postive AGI less than $31,987
* they had a total of $1,016B in AGI, which comprised 12.51% of overall AGI
* they paid a total of $31B in taxes, which comprised 2.99% of overall taxes
* their average effective tax rate was 3.01%
* per taxpayer, average revenue was $456

It is worth noting that the income figure for the lower 50% is the upper limit, while the figure for the top 1% is a lower limit. So comparisons of those numbers should keep that in mind. However, this fact must also be balanced with the recognition that a very large number of the bottom 50% actually had zero or even negative tax liability.

Following this link, we can see that in 2004, there were a total of 131,113,969 tax returns filed. Of those, 42,545,501 (32.4%) had $0 tax liability, or even had negative tax liability and actually received money from the IRS. An estimated 15 million more people earned some income but did not file a return. When these non-filers are added to the non-payers, they add up to 57.5 million income-earning people who will be paying no income taxes. Even 57.5 million is not the actual number of people because one tax return often represents several people. When all of the dependents of these income-producing people are counted, roughly 120 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population – are outside of the federal income tax system.

Jack

July 29th, 2009
1:49 pm

MPercy: My numbers are a bit off (I didn’t take all the deductions into account) but my point about “Frenchmen pay 40% of their income to the government” being a misleading claim stands.

Your numbers on the other hand are wrong. You can’t have a tax liability of less than zero, and a single person filing alone and making $15,000 a year would pay $565. If you have enough babies you can reduce your tax liability to zero, though, through child tax credits. This isn’t an actual reduction in the rate of tax, though, but a form of welfare for people with families to support.

You also say that health care is not a right. Do you believe that fire protection is a right? If not, do you advocate dismantling the fire department?

g.skill: You say that the democrats have ‘warped minds’ because they believe that rights are granted by the constitution. Where do you think rights come from?

MPercy

July 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

Jack: “Your numbers on the other hand are wrong. You can’t have a tax liability of less than zero.” Sorry, these are the government’s own numbers. The IRS and CBO both treat the EITC and other tax credits as negative taxes, so if you are “entitled” to enough tax credits to more that offset your tax liabilities, then the IRS and CBO count it as a negative effective tax rate.

Funny you mention fire protection. It’s not a right, either. It’s a service that in some cases may be provided by the local government. I own a home that is many miles from the nearest fire department (which itself is a volunteer fire department largely funded through donations, weekly bingo games, and fish frys), and pay hefty insurance premiums in the case it happens to burn down. Clearly fire protection is not a right.

Jake

July 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

The unalienable rights phrase is in the Declaration not the Constitution and, therefore, is not a part of US law. However, enlightened civilizations have always taken care of the less fortunate to some extent. Oh and capitalists should pay more because they benefit more.

Jake

July 29th, 2009
3:07 pm

Isn’t earned income credit in excess of tax liability actually paid out as a quasi refund so some people actually do have negative income tax rates?

MPercy

July 29th, 2009
4:13 pm

Jack, the Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government. Excepting as spelled out there, the federal governments powers are supposed to be limited to those enumerated. All other government is expected to be at the state level (10th Amendment makes this explicit). The presence of the enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights merely makes explicit how government may not, through exercising the enumerated powers, infringe on certain human rights–in ways that had been “traditionally” infringed. The 9th Amendment further precludes the federal government from using the argument that the only rights people have are those enumerated.

Thus: the Constitution does not *grant* rights, it acknowledges explicitly some rights (BOR) and implicitly others (9th).

Jack

July 29th, 2009
6:07 pm

MPercy: Clearly fire protection is not a right.

So because it is not provided where you live, it is not a right. So by that logic, if a man lives in a country where freedom of speech is not enshrined in law, he should not regard free speech as a right?

Can you give me a clear and cogent explanation as to what is and isn’t a right, and what makes one thing a right and another thing not a right?

MPercy: if you are “entitled” to enough tax credits to more that offset your tax liabilities, then the IRS and CBO count it as a negative effective tax rate.

But the amount of federal income tax you actually pay is zero. Zero is not a negative number, however much you want to handwave it.

Jake: Isn’t earned income credit in excess of tax liability actually paid out as a quasi refund so some people actually do have negative income tax rates?

Possibly in some circumstances, but again, that’s welfare, not a lower tax rate.

g.skill

July 29th, 2009
7:20 pm

“g.skill: You say that the democrats have ‘warped minds’ because they believe that rights are granted by the constitution. Where do you think rights come from?”

Jack, if you tell me where a right is *granted* to health care in the US Constitution, you’ll find your answer. But you can’t find where that right is *granted* now, can you? Not any more than the right to own a home, a college degree, or anything else you leftocrats want to give away at other people’s expense – after all, where do you think government gets its money to do all these wonderful fantasyland things you people on the left want. Now, I can sure point you where a right is *protected* to own a gun, but not GRANTED:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Note that RIGHT is already mentioned in there, but not GRANTED. You liberals don’t even understand the Constitution, do you?

Jack

July 29th, 2009
7:41 pm

g.skill: Jack, if you tell me where a right is *granted* to health care in the US Constitution, you’ll find your answer.

I never said it was.

I’m just asking you where you think rights come from. Will you answer me or not?

>you leftocrats

I don’t like labels, but my political beliefs could be summed up as “free people and free markets.” I don’t think I qualify as a leftist or a Democrat with a big D.

>Note that RIGHT is already mentioned in there, but not GRANTED. You liberals don’t even understand the Constitution, do you?

I agree with you, the right is protected there but not granted. Which begs the question, where does that right come from?

It’s a question you don’t seem to want to answer.

g.skill

July 29th, 2009
7:52 pm

Down he goes, Obama:

“WASHINGTON – Despite his public-relations blitz over the past two weeks to promote his plans to reform the nation’s health-care system — including holding two town halls on Wednesday — President Barack Obama has lost ground on this issue with the American public, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”

Reality is starting to set in now, isn’t it. That’s a good thing.

“As Congress works on its legislation and as Obama campaigns to get an overhaul enacted, 42 percent now say that the president’s plan is a bad idea, which is a 10-point increase since last month. Thirty-six percent say it’s a good idea. In addition, 39 percent — a plurality — believe that Obama’s plan would result in the quality of their health care getting worse. That’s 15-point jump since April. And just 41 percent approve of the president’s job on health care, which is nearly identical to Bill Clinton’s scores from 1994, when he failed to get Congress to pass health care reform.”

Oh my. Whatever happened to the Dream Presidency as MNBC’s and CNN’s totally non-biased* reporters?

*sarcasm

“Americans who have private health insurance disapprove of Obama’s job on health care by a 51-38 percent margin. Those who lack insurance, however, approve of his job, 52-29 percent.”

Sucks for them with no health insurance, because they are in the extreme minority, at about 16% of Americans. Rather amazing how the media can play on numbers and make figures look big, no? That alleged 46 million sounds like a lot – until you look at the 250 million plus with a health insurance. But if you really want to know a secret, the majority of those alleged 46 million really aren’t qualified for health insurance in America. Here’s why: most are a mix of illegals, legal non-residents, on another government plan, and/or can afford a private insurance plan but choose not to. About 8-10 million in this nation are *truly* eligible for some sort of health insurance plan. That’s no reason to have government takeover of health care. There are other alternatives, and thank God America is waking up to this insanity brought to us by Obama/Biden/Pelosi/Reid and the other band of misfits in Washington running things.

g.skill

July 29th, 2009
8:07 pm

“I never said it was.” [a right, health care}

Nah Jack, you all but emphasized it without stating it in this great logic to MPercy:

“You also say that health care is not a right. Do you believe that fire protection is a right? If not, do you advocate dismantling the fire department?”

Not even sure what your original point is, because it is not Republicans trying to DISMANTLE something because it’s an alleged right.

“I agree with you, the right is protected there but not granted. Which begs the question, where does that right come from? I’m just asking you where you think rights come from. Will you answer me or not?”

I’m not avoiding your question at all. Maybe you mean this phrase:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

Clue: you’ll have to go back further than the US Constitution to find that right – it has to do with English common law.

Michael H. Smith

July 29th, 2009
9:53 pm

Giving a little help to my friends….

Privileges are granted, rights are not granted. Rights are said to be endowed: they (humanity or mankind) is “endowed” by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

The Constitution protects rights (our rights) it does not and it cannot provide our rights. Anything provided to us by government is a privilege and therefore government can take away granted privileges.

Note: Only the Creator of an entity or being can endow it with rights i.e. we created government and it is we who endow government with its rights, for its power is derive from our hands.

Quite a thing of beauty the grand old document, the Declaration of Independence, complexity in its simplest form set about establishing the new order of the ages.

If the question is, must government protect the healthcare as the right (human right) of an individual, then the answer is only when the life of an individual is gravely threaten by real harm or death. Which is in fact covered as humanitarian aid under the law.

oldtimer

July 29th, 2009
9:58 pm

Government cannot run the VA properly; nor medicare or medicade. The Post Office is a mess. What makes us think they can run our health care for Heaven’s sake.

giveup

July 29th, 2009
10:14 pm

clyde

July 30th, 2009
2:42 am

According to Hobbes,rights are the absence of obligation,law being the opposite of rights.Accordintg to Thomas Paine,any right granted by charter was not a right because it also implied that the right could be revoked.Some philosophers held the view that the only unalienable right was the right to personality,thus a slave had the right to think freely while he was held in bondage.
Strange entities,these unalienable rights.

TechLover

July 30th, 2009
7:38 am

Whatever: You base your philosophy on a novel written by an atheist? Why not use The Golden Compass instead of Atlas Shrugged?

TechLover

July 30th, 2009
8:04 am

As to whether or not the Constitution entions or does not mention health care as an idividual right, it does say:”We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”, and “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”. Taxes can be levied and spent by Congress to support the general welfare of the populace. This allows for National Parks, historical sites, etc. I can think of nothing that fits the description of general welfare as the availibilty of affordable healthcare. If you go back to the Declaration of Independence, if “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.”, then we are denying the basic right of life to those who don’t have healthcare by not providing access to all.

DB, Gwinnettian

July 30th, 2009
9:42 am

the outcome “pro-lifers” really wish for.

Nicaragua’s total ban on abortion is a violation of human rights and is killing a growing number of women and children, Amnesty International said Monday in launching a campaign to have the measure repealed.

In a report released in Mexico City, the international human rights organization said Nicaragua’s law, which went into effect in late 2006, puts the Central American country among the 3% of the world’s nations that do not allow abortion under any circumstance.

Citing statistics from the Nicaraguan Health Ministry, the report says 33 women and girls died from pregnancy complications in the first 19 weeks of this year, compared with 20 in the same period last year. It also says the real numbers are probably much higher.

Nicaragua has one of Latin America’s highest rates of sexual violence, with the abuse often perpetrated by fathers, uncles or other relatives.

At least 50% of reported rapes are of girls under the age of 18, and most of those who get pregnant are under 15, the report says.

Women and girls who have been impregnated by rapists or whose lives or health is at risk are not allowed to abort.

And we’re supposed to listen to what these knuckle-dragging barbarians have to say about US healthcare policy, why, again?

Jake

July 30th, 2009
10:15 am

TechLover – What is your philosophy based on, mysticism? And the Constituion is part of our law but the Declaration is not. If there is an unalienable right to liberty how can the government legally take away that right by imprisoning people for breaking laws? Same answer, your liberty can be taken away because our law does not grant anyone unalienable rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. That’s just a very cleverly spun phrase by Thomas Jefferson in an attempt to morally justify the rebellion of the colonists against the legal authorities.

eagle scout

July 30th, 2009
11:27 am

Oldtimer…I’d bet you have never been to the VA. If you have you would know that it’s a model of quality care, and efficiency.

Medicare is no different…I get the same care if not better than when I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
The only thing that has changed is now I have no co-pay, and a different card in my wallet!

DB, Gwinnettian

July 30th, 2009
12:15 pm

I’ve actually read this piece from Mr. Wooten in its entirety and still don’t know for sure what the “or else” component is supposed to be derived from its headline.

I guess it’s supposed to be “or else you get no healthcare bill at all,” but such an outcome is predicated on Jim’s conventional wisdom as described here:

When members of Congress go home and hear from constitutents who are now getting the word on the full impact of what the Pelosi Democrats are doing, support will soften even further.

He doesn’t say how he actually knows this to be the case; just that, well, it’s gonna happen because that’s what every elected Republican has insisted will be the case for the past coupla weeks! So there!

DB, Gwinnettian

July 30th, 2009
12:21 pm

One other thing. Jim says:

But I promise you that they don’t want their party’s legacy to be a complete federal takeover of health care in America.

Ok, I’ll bite–which farthest-left-of-the-left Democratic legislator, in the house or the senate, has introduced any legislation proposing such a thing?

The most “extreme” (as if!) proposal I’ve seen are those from guys like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Denis Kucinich, to support federally funded single-payer health insurance. Nobody, that I know of, has said so much as a word about a “federal takeover” of the actual providers themselves. Nor do I know of anyone who’s claimed it’d be such a great idea, although I guess the UK’s system isn’t terrible.

I just wonder if guys like Jim repeat this stuff because they don’t know any better, or if they’re just making it up. I’d hope it was the former option.

LET'S DRINK OUR WAY OUT OF IT!

July 30th, 2009
1:03 pm

The idiocy of this administration knows no bounds. TOTUS, the professor with anger management issues, and a decent cop are all sucking down suds together today. Isn’t that special. Maybe TOTUS can get with Nannybotox and Reidplugs and drink to a resolution on the out of control spending going on. Nah.

Rasmussen reports:

“Forty-nine percent (49%) now say that America’s best days have come and gone. Just 38% believe they are still to come. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the country is heading in the right direction.”

So, how do you thirty four percenters like your change?

And Charlie “Oops I forgot to pay my taxes” Rangel wants to have a new 5.4-percentage point income tax surcharge. Oh sure, THAT will help the economy. Idiocy!

And the libs at Newsweak have to play up the economy and compare it to the Great Depression and even turn THAT event in our history into a positive. Did these same libs do that during the Bush years, which were a HELL of a lot better than when the Democrats took over Congress two and a half years ago, and especially the White House a half year ago:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/209109?GT1=43002

Oh and look at where the Obamas are looking to vacation! I’m sorry, but the libDims told Bush he shouldn’t take vacations and should park his swaggering butt in DC. I say we uphold the same standards to Obama. NO vacations until he fixes the economy.

“It might have been the golf tee that swung it for President Obama as he looked for a summer holiday retreat — but the 28 acres on Martha’s Vineyard, the swimming pool, private beach and basketball court may just have clinched it too. Mr Obama and the First Family are planning to spend their summer break on a $20 million retreat on the wealthy playground island off Cape Cod and even seem undeterred that the property is owned by a Republican.”

And how’s that stimuporkulus spending working out for you, America? Remember, the libDims promised IMMEDIATE relief and a REVERSAL of job loss!

“WASHINGTON — More than 90 percent of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas saw their unemployment rates climb in June from the previous month. Some of the biggest increases hit college towns, where the annual summertime exodus of students causes bars, restaurants and other businesses to cut staff. The Detroit area, hit hard by manufacturing layoffs tied to the beleaguered auto industry, also got stung in June. Unemployment rates rose from May to June in 348 of more than 370 metro areas, according to an Associated Press analysis of Labor Department data released Wednesday.”

Yeah buddy, let’s just sit down and drink a beer over it. THAT will solve all our problems.

EVIL REPUBLICANS TIME IS UP

July 30th, 2009
1:44 pm

YOU HICKS KILL ME WITH YOUR WE DONT WANT AMERICA TO HAVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE,WE CAN HELP INDIA,CHINA,AFRICA,ARAB STATES,BUT NO HELP FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE,WE DONT NEED IT SAY THE REDNECK HICKS WHO ARE NOW BROKE AND WITHOUT A JOB BECAUSE OF BUSH,KEEP IT UP,YOU WILL SOON NEED SOME SORT OF GOVERNMENT HELP BUDDY!

Raider

July 30th, 2009
1:57 pm

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Are you unable to work at all?
Are you afraid of your future?
Do you or somebody you know have the, “Keith Olbermann Disease” called Celiac Disease – systoms include, “Chronic Diarrhoea” were you have to wear adult diapers on live tv. “Oh, No! I’ve just craped my pants again while on the air Doc”
Well, dont worry my friends because
DR. SHYSTA GOLDMAKA OBAMA D.C. is here!
Doctor of Quackropractic Medicine and Reform!
Come in today for your free rectal exam!
Don’t be like Keith Olbermann and have to wear adult diapers all the time!
The number to call is 1-666-666-6666
We document and embellish all you medical problems for the world to see!
And in keeping with transparency with the Altruistic Urology Principles – We donate 30% of all revenues to our favorite charity – the DNC!
Don’t wait, come in today!

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
2:57 pm

From the male Palin Jim Dimwit Wooten: “Barring a sudden change of fortunes — either the taxpayers’ good fortunes or those of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — liberal Democrats won’t be able to push through the radical remake of the nation’s health care system as they’d proposed.

Centrist Democrats, the so-called Blue Dogs who represent states and districts where the parties are still competitive, balked. In the Senate, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are working a bill that would drop the government “insurance” option in favor of a “nonprofit cooperative” that would sell insurance.”

Wooten again is displaying his complete ignorance of how Congress will work here. This reminds me of the best of all Wooten columns in 9/08 where Wooten preached that Obama was sinking fast, and Dimwit 1 and Dimwit 2 who never see the light of day in the White House would win and they got crushed hugely.

Wooten never mentions the Senate Rule on Reconciliation because he has never heard of it. Reconciliation means that the Democrats can stuff their plan down the throats and up the cazoo where proctologists do surgery and they will. The House will pass a public option with some of the concessions to exclusions of some small business as has happened this morning and will happen in a few minutes in Waxman’s committee markup on C-Span 3 since you pubtards don’t work for a living and most of us do.

What will happen is the House will pass a public option. The Senate Finance Committee will implode. Democrats will shove the public option down the throats of arrogant Pubtards and up their Kazoo where a proctologist does surgery and the Conference Committee will keep a public option. Democrats don’t need 60 votes. They only need 51 and they have them easily without the Blue Dogs.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is not going to lie down and get rolled by the Blue Dogs on the Health Care bill. They are having a press conference at 2:30 on the Hill, and they are circulating a letter for signatures. What the letter will contain is unclear, but at this point they are saying they have the votes to defeat the Waxman-Blue Dog compromise on the floor.

From The Hill:

A House leadership deal with Blue Dogs and an aggressive marketing push by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) shifted the healthcare debate sharply toward centrist positions Wednesday, sparking threats of rebellion from the left.

Liberals aimed to win 50 signatures on a letter to their leaders opposing the deal to make it clear they could defeat the healthcare bill on the floor.

“Fifty is our threshold,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a co-chairman of the caucus. “That’ll kill anything.”

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
2:59 pm

Yee haw Wooten; Revel in your ignorance of the Senate and your failure to keep up with Waxman’s markup that happened this morning.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
3:00 pm

Wooten like Palin, revels in his ignorance; doesn’t follow or understand the markup process that took place in Waxman’s committee this morning and right now.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

Wooten is ignorant of this and he won’t teach it to you so I will:

The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 created reconciliation (See Pub.L. 93-344, § 310; 88 Stat. 297; 2 U.S.C. § 641.) but Congress came to use it in the 1980s. Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton’s 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) President Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.

Reconciliation generally involves legislation that changes the budget deficit (or conceivably, the surplus). The “Byrd Rule” (2 U.S.C. § 644) outlines what reconciliation can and cannot be used for. The Byrd Rule defines a provision to be extraneous in six cases:

(1) if it does not produce a change in outlays or revenues;
(2) if it produces an outlay increase or revenue decrease when the instructed committee is not in compliance with its instructions;
(3) if it is outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision for inclusion in the reconciliation measure;
(4) if it produces a change in outlays or revenues which is merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision;
(5) if it would increase the deficit for a fiscal year beyond those covered by the reconciliation measure, though the provisions in question may receive an exception if they in total in a Title of the measure net to a reduction in the deficit; and
(6) if it recommends changes in Social Security.

Until 1996, reconciliation was limited to deficit reduction, but in 1996 the Senate adopted a precedent to apply reconciliation to any legislation affecting the budget, even legislation that would worsen the deficit. Under the administration of President George W. Bush Congress used reconciliation to enact three major tax cuts.

Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Senate intended to allow a contentious budget bill to be considered without being subject to filibuster. Reconciliation also applies in the United States House of Representatives, but since the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the reconciliation process represented less of a change in that body.

A reconciliation instruction is a provision in a budget resolution directing one or more committees to submit legislation changing existing law in order to bring spending, revenues, or the debt-limit into conformity with the budget resolution. The instructions specify the committees to which they apply, indicate the appropriate dollar changes to be achieved, and usually provide a deadline by which the legislation is to be reported or submitted.[1]

A reconciliation bill is one containing changes in law recommended pursuant to reconciliation instructions in a budget resolution. If the instructions pertain to only one committee in a chamber, that committee reports the reconciliation bill. If the instructions pertain to more than one committee, the House Budget Committee reports an omnibus reconciliation bill, but it may not make substantive changes in the recommendations of the other committees.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
3:20 pm

And in case you don’t realize Byrd’s intention on a public health care plan, Byrd supports it all the way for his uninnsured constitutents, underinsured constitutents and is very aware of something Wooten ignores, pretends never happened or is ignorant about. In the past 5 years, 20,000 hard working legal American citizens, a large percentage who had treatable cancers were dropped from their insurance companies after they and/or their employers paid all their premiums fully for as long as 25 years or more, simply because they got sick. The insurance companies made $350 million from this move, and thousands of people died because of it.

On “Charlie Rose” on PBS last night, former Reppublican Majority Leader and Lung transplant surgeon Bill Frist debated internist Dr. Howard Dean and Dean mopped the floor with Frist and even Frist distanced himself from the stupidity of Wooten and the idiots here who claim socialized medicine. Dr. Frist, the former Republican leader in the Senate said that this is definitely nothing close to socialized medicine and Frist praised Obama’s move to mandate rewards for outcome rather than the current plan to get rewards for doing procedures and imaging when and if it isn’t necessary. In many years of medicine I have sg een very little of any doctor wanting extra procedures for money. I have seen the regrettable situation where the patient moves, records are delayed, and the physician feels forced to order tests because he or she believes delay could cause significant risk and harm to the patient.

Most physicians could earn far more in less time with less headaches if they applied their incredible focus and devotion to real estate or banking, but they deeply care about getting patients well and preventing illness. We need to do a lot more towards prevention in this country and we will.

Tray

July 30th, 2009
3:35 pm

Wow, the guy above my post must be a Dem-as much typing as he’s done, he must not have a job! As much bad-mouthing of others…

Oh, by the way, a rough estimate of 40% of doctors will retire if Obamacare passes-so those of you who think the 7 month waits for an MRI won’t be true…just wait. Elect a dummy for pres, get dummy policies in return!

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
3:50 pm

The Progressive caucus has 53 signatures on its letter sent to the 3 House Committees insistingon a meaningful real public option to get the damn insurance conmpanies out of my office, my collegues office, and your treatment rooms. They only need 50 votes to win this in the House. Someone cpr Wooten from his delusional Palinesque coma.

And when dimwit Wooten starts trying to talk medicine/politics and tries to use the past perfect or pluperfect tense with me I feel damn good about what I’ve explained above that Wooten is too ignorant to comprehend.

Wooten did a whip count in September 2008 majestically insisting Obama was finished; Obama pals around with Terrrissssts; Obama and Reverand Wright were Siamese twins; and Obama was born in Kenya LOL and the birth certificate on Line and the announcemen in the Hawaii newspapers was a fake. How’d that workout for you pubtards? Still think sick Borderline and moron Palin the uncurious non-reading stream of consciousness Palin is your VP?

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
4:20 pm

Further, the disingenuous, hypocritical Wooten who writes so many pseudo-impasioned articles about the nuclear family and DA Children, wanted to push through a bill that would pull S-Chip funding from 20 states which would deny care to around a million children. This attempt to pull S-Chip is now going to be crushed by the Tri and Progressive Coalition’s now 53 votes in the House, and the Reconciliation 51 votes the Democrats need in the Senate.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
4:47 pm

A stupid amendment by the Republitards requiring birth certificates to be with a patient in the ER for treatment, including the comatose patients and the patients bleeding to death, the C-Spine fractures, the ectopic pregnancies, life threatening arrhthmias, myocardial ischemic patients was defeated and among the defeated were attorney Nathan Deal who will be crushed by Roy Barnes for Governor, and a doctor who has been away from the emergency room long enough for senility to set in, Phil Gingrey.

clyde

July 30th, 2009
5:46 pm

I thought a certain idiot had maybe been hit by a bus.Wrong again.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
6:23 pm

Clear Channel has flatly turned down Carabou Dimwit who pitched them a syndicated radio show. The reason they gave was her untreated Borderline personality because people would destroy her on the radio and she speaks in Jibberish the way Wooten writes about health care.

You can’t get it written for you in radio like you can on the campaign trail when you do no interviews except with softball Gretta.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
6:33 pm

Clyde, as a physician I’d love to hear the Clyde health care plan based on zero medical experience, or the Clyde whip count in the House and Senate. I’ve put up mine. Let’s hear Clyde point out how patient care should be delivered in a country where doctors aren’t able to call the shots and the insurance companies make the decisions. United Health just settled with states and physicians for $400 million in overbilling, but Clyde doesn’t know that or forgot it. I’ll go with doesn’t know it.

Health care costs in the US are growing much faster than the Raegan-Bush Bush economy and the graph I’m looking at from Bureau of Economic Analysis OECD that Dave Leonhardt used yesterday in his column shows that from 1980 to present spending on health care is 300% higher than growth in the economy.

The Dow is at a record high since a year ago in the spring. Whoops Whoops how can that be you pubtards? It will be seen that Obama is cleaning up the mess that was dog s_ited on the ground byBush and the Goldman Sachs alumni in his administration.

LOL Pubtards can fantasize about being hit by a bus because they don’t work and are tethered to Wooten with amens with a Foley catheter. Some of us have a lot going on Clyde.

And notice the pubtards will never discuss an issue because they can’t–they’re walking Palins.

I kin see Russia and it’s for da soldiers goshdarnit.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
6:38 pm

Yee haw haw Jawjaw Hick Racist Pubtards
Shares Move Higher but Fall Off the Day’s High
By JACK HEALY 4:27 PM ET
Upbeat earnings reports and new unemployment data lifted stocks to their highest levels since last autumn.

The cowardly white cop brings his Union head and a lawyert to drink a beer with the President. Talk about white honkey chicken-_its!

Jack

July 30th, 2009
6:59 pm

> “I never said it was.” [a right, health care}

You’ve misunderstood.

You asked me where a right is granted to healthcare in the US constitution. It isn’t. I said “I never said it was.”

You did not ask me “do you think healthcare is a right”, so when I said “I never said it was,” it was not in reply to that question.

> Nah Jack, you all but emphasized it without stating it

Again, you’ve misunderstood. Questioning the statement that “healthcare isn’t a right” isn’t the same as agreeing with the statement that “healthcare is a right.”

>I’m not avoiding your question at all. Maybe you mean this phrase:

So to make sure I’ve understood your answer, you believe that what is or isn’t a right is “self-evident”?

And you also believe that rights are granted by God?

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
7:11 pm

If healthcare werre mandated by the Constitution, it would already be delivered to the entire population. There wouldn’t be multimillion dollar campaigns during the psat and coming months by the insurance companies so they can continue to steal billions of dollars in premiums and then deny medical catre.

It will be mandated by US Code in a few months however, which is one way of delivering the law.

Michael H. Smith

July 30th, 2009
7:30 pm

Darn, you finally got something close to partially right.

If healthcare were a “protected right” under the Constitution – depending on how the amendment was written – then either, any person within the jurisdiction of the United States would have healthcare or every U.S. Citizen and LEGAL immigrant would have healthcare.

Don’t hold your breath, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. By the sound of her rehearsals she is still hitting alot of sour notes.

Obumer loses round one.

Michael H. Smith

July 30th, 2009
7:35 pm

Liberal Democrats Protest Health Care Deal, Threaten to Fight It

Fifty-three lawmakers have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key committee chairmen formally opposing the deal that House leaders struck with a group of fiscally conservative Democrats known as Blue Dogs. The letter calls the agreement “fundamentally unacceptable.”

Party leaders are quickly finding that out that you can’t please all Democrats all the time, as they try to reach an accord on health care reform.

One day after House Democratic leaders struck what was seen as a breakthrough deal with a handful of key moderates, the liberal wing of the party lined up Thursday against the compromise.
Liberal Democrats Protest Health Care Deal, Threaten to Fight It
Fifty-three lawmakers have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key committee chairmen formally opposing the deal that House leaders struck with a group of fiscally conservative Democrats known as Blue Dogs. The letter calls the agreement “fundamentally unacceptable.”

Fifty-three lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key committee chairmen formally opposing the deal that House leaders struck with a group of fiscally conservative Democrats known as Blue Dogs…

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/30/liberal-democrats-protest-health-care-deal-threaten-fight/

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
7:42 pm

We have a ton of law that wasn’t mandated by the Constitution divided into caselaw and code section. Only a moron would be surprised at that. Jim Crowley the redneck idiot who arrested someone because he didn’t kiss his whick redneck ass says he’s in an “ordeal.” He’s in an ordeal because he’s stupid.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
7:48 pm

Crowley will get the inevitable book deal with a ghost writer and the usual Palin crowd of morons who will buy it.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
7:54 pm

Not a pibtard jere ever heard of Blue Dog demsa until the health care bill came up lately. The House and Senate Dems have the votes to defeat them, both on the floor and in the inevitable conference commitee where this bill is actually going to be written in secret.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
7:55 pm

Progressives crush Blue Dogs in the House. Reconciliation does it in the Senate. Wooten gets his info from Faux news and Faux is too stupid to know about Reconciliation.

Reconciliation is Comin' Baby Learn it; Bing/Google Senate Reconciliation

July 30th, 2009
8:26 pm

Reconciliation will crush pubtards. Get used to hearing the term. Reconciation. Reconciliation. I gave you a mini tutorial above. The high school level AJC has never mentioned it because they buy their Congressional coverage from the superficial and retarded AP.

Reconciliation. Reconciliation. Reconciliation. 51 votes in the Senate.

The Libtard Vitriol Escalates

July 30th, 2009
9:59 pm

Anyone else notice the increased shrill from the sick left on this blog? What an absolute out of touch, pathetic troglodyte libtard. Obama’s polls are tanking yet this mouth breathing blog drooler thinks the libtard party will increase more wins, especially with over half the nation now fully rejecting government takeover of US health care. When the tards fall, it’s gonna be a hard one – and a real joy to watch.

Hilary

July 31st, 2009
2:57 am

We Gen Xers need to be demanding a secure retirement with health benefits. It’s too expensive to have kids and even if you do have kids, they might be loser turds. Who is going to take care of us when we get old if we don’t take care of ourselves by implementing sensible legislation? The government is not the alien third party that the corporations want us to believe it is. We are the government and the government is us.

Jack

August 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

>Anyone else notice the increased shrill from the sick left on this blog?

I see one very loud incoherent guy spamming, and yes, he’s kind of annoying.

On the other hand you shouldn’t blame all of the people who disagree with you for the actions of the loudest one, nor should you start talking like him yourself. I don’t really see a difference between “the pubtards are going down!” and “when the libtards fall!”

Neither really adds much to the debate.

N.J.

August 7th, 2009
5:19 pm

You lose. In the last few days DOCTORS pushed the House into putting a single payer amendment into HR 3200 and a Single Payer Senate Bill into the Senate. Polls taken in the last few days show that Doctor Support for Single Payer now exceeds 50 percent and opposition is at 32 percent. Up from the 49 percent support for single payer among doctors and 40 percent opposition in 2002.

The medical profession is the sickest of the intrusion of the insurance industry into their practices. of all Americans involved in the current system.

Also polls seem to indicate that the public is less more afraid that the eventual legislation will simply be another giveaway to the insurance industry allowing business to make more money while cutting benefits. Newspapers today are seeing letters to the editor praising the Single Payer options that have been accepted by Pelosi and the Senate in the last two days.

N.J.

August 12th, 2009
8:44 am

Actually they DO want it as part of their legacy.

What are the TWO most popular government programs in U.S. history. Social Security and Medicare. Both Democrat Legacies. So much so that Ronald Reagan had to assert, repeatedly, that he was not going to and had absolutely no intention of touching either. A government optional heath care plan will become the third, and three strikes and the Republican Party is out.

When the Clinton’s were trying to pass Clinton Care, all of the Republican advisors told Congressional Republicans to not go negative on it directly, but to get others to, because if it passed it would turn into the third most popular government program in history and would result in 20 years or longer of complete Democratic control of the executive sand legislative branch. This is not opinion this is well documented history.

Republican advisors are starting to say the same thing now. That if they kill health care reform in the fall of 2009, there will be fewer Republicans in Congress come the fall of 2010.

Obama and the Democrats have great methods of publicly handling this as the vote gets closer. All they need do is show some videos of Republicans asserting the existence of WMD’s in Iraq, and then show photos of the same people making assertions about heath care reform with a caption “This is who you are going to believe”

Republicans may have the public scared now, but it is whoever controls the fear factor during the week of the vote who will prevail.

Already articles are showing how Medicare Advantage carriers are tricking the elderly into signing up and then denying them treatments for colon cancer, telling them to take over the counter ibuprofen for cancer pain to avoid paying for prescription pain medications and tricking them into signing living wills at the same time as they as they sign up, or bullying them into signing them afterwards, leaving the health care provider to make the “end of life decisions” while the family is waiting to take the provider to court.

A simple google on the words “Medicare Advantage” “trick” and “elderly” will bring up many articles many current, but many in 2007 before the current fight over health care reform started.

Other articles show how the largest private employer based insurers falsify data on the costs of out of network provider costs in order to artificially increase premiums from between 10 and 28 percent. The AMA sued this one provider and won almost half a billion dollars in settlement.

Democrats have one fact on their side and bringing it up at the right time will also be very much in their favor. How many times an insurance bureaucrat gets between the doctor and the patient. That every medical consultation has three people in the room. The patient, the doctor and and insurance claims denial specialist. There are tens of thousands of individual cases. I can see a few dozen of them in a commercial at almost any time in the near future.

The same group that is doing commercials opposing health reform, AHIP, recently had to do an article about the wide difference that hospitals doctors and other providers bill for providing the exact procedures but with patients covered by different insurance carriers. AHIP used Medicare prices to try to foist off the blame onto the providers, but the providers were very ready for this. They had documentation that the reasons that the billings were different for each provider was because each provider reimbursed at different low rates, that they denied parts of claims which brought down average reimbursements even further and outright denied entire claims in other cases, plus the additional costs of having to continually try to fight to get more claims and more portions of bills paid for after an insurer had denied the claims. Doctors then stated that they were finding that they were having to drop more and more private insurers because they could be treating patients they could be reimbursed for with the time they have to waste arguing with insurers over the telephone and by mail as well as the insurance experts they have to hire to try to get a higher percentage of claims accepted rather than denied. Then the amount of time they have to wait to get the money from the private insurers. This is something they rarely have to do with Medicare. Medicare coverage, according to doctors is much more transparent, require much less non medically related work on their part to deal with. Medicare still has a higher rate of doctor participation than any single private employer based health care plan, and the doctors are more inclined to drop a private health care insurer when they drop their rates of reimbursement that they are to drop Medicare.

On average Medicare reimburses a doctors and hospitals 48.9 dollars per patient over the complete spectrum of care. Medicaid reimburses them 38.8. Commercial insurance reimburses 88.8, but they deny claims far more often than either Medicare or Medicaid, and doctors lose far more patient contact time with commercial health insurers that the difference between the public health insurance reimbursement and the private employer based health insurance is not large enough for them to worry about accepting all of their private employer based insurers. They will keep their older patients and close the book on the company and not accept new ones. It is much more common to walk into any doctors office in the Atlanta metropolitan area and see signs at the front desk that say “We no longer accept this insurance companies POS plan, or we no longer accept that companies PPO plan as of x date” than it is to see a sign that says the same about Medicare.

I recently read the letter that the 7 top private commercial insurers sent to President Obama stating that they could easily cut costs by 2 trillion dollars over the next ten years to deal with the need to reform health care. Most of the places that they were finding this two trillion was found in some of the most egregiously non medical related fat imaginable. Corporate jets, limos, executive golf courses, original masters paintings for the CEO’s office wall’s multi million dollar housing in the city center where the corporate headquarters was located so the executives didn’t have to drive home to their suburban homes.This makes up a considerable amount of insurance premiums.

In fact as the number of health enrollees has dropped by millions over the last year because of unemployment, the top health providers are seeing record profits, out of premiums at the same time that share prices have dropped. They have dropped enough for the CEO of one insurer to vote himself another 1.6 billion dollars in stock options this year. All paid for with premium increases this year of 40 percent. Employers have little choice but to find coverage that provides less benefits but they will find no difference between any of the companies if they are seeking to retain benefits. There is for all effects an insurance OPEC that controls the prices of health insurance at whim, but unlike OPEC, the price of health insurance never goes down. Demand is down at this point in time, again, because of the high rate of unemployment, but what one would expect in a competitive market is not occurring. Premiums are not coming down to attract more enrollment. They have a captive market and they press that advantage to the max.

Joe Jerome

August 17th, 2009
4:12 pm

It’s always fun to watch all the retarded southerners Sig Heil all the propaganda and lies of the Republican party. This time it’s the poor southerners — without health insurance — being propagandized to be in favor of insurance companies and AGAINST what’s BEST FOR THEM.

I’m truly embarrassed for you.

As a northerner, I’ve never been able to understand why we wasted even one man, during the Civil War, to keep you losers as part of this country. You guys suck! Crawl back into your trailers and shut your faces about health care, and you will get the health care you don’t deserve.

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