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View Full Version : Speaking as one liberal to another, I urge you to vote against health care reform.


ITR champion
11-24-2009, 04:00 PM
The following is a letter that I'll be sending to my Senators. I am posting it here for discussion purposes.

Dear Senator Warner and Senator Webb,

I am a Virginia voter who has been voting for Democratic candidates for many years. I supported both of you in your Senate campaigns and have also aided the campaigns of other Democratic politicians. I am one of the voters who has helped to turn Virginia blue during the past few years. As such, I wish to make my opinion about the health care reform bill known. I urge you to vote against the final bill unless drastic changes are made.

During both the previous elections, Democratic voters made clear that our top domestic priority was to provide health insurance for all Americans. The current versions of the bills do not accomplish that; they leave millions of Americans uninsured. Upcoming negotiations in Congress may make the final version even worse. If we truly want to provide quality, affordable health care for all, we need a robust public option available to all Americans. A public option with a "trigger" or which allows states to opt out is not acceptable. These versions would leave too many Americans uninsured.

Furthermore, the current versions of the health care bill make too many compromises with insurance and pharmaceutical industries. For example, they do not allow the government to negotiate lower prices on prescription drugs. This means that prices will remain inflated, the companies will continue to reap huge profits at our expense, and our health care system will remain on the path to insolvency. Current versions also don't allow meaningful regulation of corporate health care providers. Hence, insurers would still be allowed to deny people coverage for basic medical needs. We've all heard the stories of people who had to fight their insurance companies for years over payments for important treatments. Some of these people were driven into bankruptcy. This sort of thing should not be allowed to continue.

Lastly, the current versions do not restrict the growth of costs enough. Medicare is on a path to bankruptcy, which may occur as soon as 2016. Minor trimming of costs is not enough to save it. We need a much larger overhaul of the entire system.

It may be objected that these compromises are necessary to get the support of moderate Democrats, and that we should support the bill anyway because any reform is better than none. But this reasoning is fallacious. The current bill provides only tiny improvements for the working poor while giving massive handouts to wealthy corporations. Not only is this immoral, but it sets a bad precedent. It tells corporations and lobbyists that they should automatically expect huge sums of money whenever the Democratic Congress writes a bill, and will thus hamstring any other legislation that we wish to pass.

It may also be objected that defeat of health care reform would be a major victory for Republicans and would be costly for Democrats at the ballot box. The polls show the opposite. Most voters want a robust public option. They will punish the Republicans for blocking this round of health care reform, and the Democrats will emerge with a stronger majority in the next Congress, and will no longer be held hostage by Joe Lieberman and other back-stabbers. We cannot let the example of the 1994 election scare us into submission. It is no longer 1994, and the public mood on this issue has shifted.

In conclusion, please stick to your principles and vote against any health care reform bill that does not actually address the problems with our current system.

gonzomax
11-24-2009, 04:33 PM
You realize that the present system leaves 50 million uncovered , passes the health care cost into our products inhibiting our ability to compete and will bankrupt us as it sheds customers. We can not continue down this path either.
The final bill is not determined. Insurance company competition has to be provided. Medicare is going broke because it is the insurer of last resort. As insurance companied drop sick or elderly, Medicare picks them up . They have the sickest demographic and are expected to control costs. Actually they do need a lot of control. they are letting medical companies and doctors cheat the tax payers on an ongoing basis.

C K Dexter Haven
11-24-2009, 04:50 PM
The current direction, seems to me, is going to enrich the insurance companies, and to make them even MORE instrumental in health care decisions. This will especially be true if they drop the "public option."

The whole problem with health care in the US, seems to me, is the profit motive on the part of insurance companies, who make all ultimate decisions. This is compounded by the profit motive for hospitals, doctors, etc.

Would we allow the police department to be run on a profit-basis? Then why the hell do we allow health care to be run that way? And, sadly, I don't see this bill fixing it. The fix is to throw out and overhaul the whole damn system, not to spoon-feed the insurance companies.

filmore
11-24-2009, 05:27 PM
I agree with you. I want UHC, but this bill is not the way to do it.

John Mace
11-24-2009, 05:34 PM
The current direction, seems to me, is going to enrich the insurance companies, and to make them even MORE instrumental in health care decisions. This will especially be true if they drop the "public option."

The whole problem with health care in the US, seems to me, is the profit motive on the part of insurance companies, who make all ultimate decisions. This is compounded by the profit motive for hospitals, doctors, etc.
No. The problem is we restrict competition and tie health insurance to employment.

Would we allow the police department to be run on a profit-basis? Then why the hell do we allow health care to be run that way? And, sadly, I don't see this bill fixing it. The fix is to throw out and overhaul the whole damn system, not to spoon-feed the insurance companies.
Why is health care like the police? One might as well ask why we would allow grocery stores to operate on a profit basis. We all need to eat, right?

Profit is not inherently bad. Unless you explain why you need to nationalize health care, just saying "profit" isn't an argument for doing so.

begbert2
11-24-2009, 05:44 PM
Why is health care like the police? One might as well ask why we would allow grocery stores to operate on a profit basis. We all need to eat, right?

Profit is not inherently bad. Unless you explain why you need to nationalize health care, just saying "profit" isn't an argument for doing so.The short answer is that some people think that the police, and health care, should be available to all. The market is great at some things, but not so much at ensuring that.

Though the main reasons to socialize it have less to do with the fact that health care is privatized and more to do with the fact that the prevalence of insurance in paying for it throws the whole set of market dynamics out of whack, reducing most of the benefits that make a private market system good in the first place.

filmore
11-24-2009, 06:20 PM
There's two separate issues here: Health Insurance and Health Care.

Health Insurance is insurance against unusual and expensive events. Heart attack, cancer, broken limb, etc. This type of insurance is actually quite reasonable. You can get a family plan with a $10k family deductible for around $200/mo. That means once your family has spent $10k in the year, the insurance will pick up the rest. Everyone should have this type of insurance because anyone can rack up $50k from an accident regardless of their health.

Health Care is care for minor or regular health issues. Checkups, colds, sprains, etc. This is where it doesn't make sense to provide it in a for-profit system. Profit itself is not even the issue. It's the fact that there's a whole system that has to be paid for to support these usual and expected medical expenses. Even if the insurance companies make zero profit, someone is still paying for the insurance companies buildings, employees, publications, utilities, etc.

The problem is that health care cannot be ignored. If your car breaks down you can take the bus. But if your body has problems you can't just hop into a different body. So you need to visit the doctor for normal health issues. But now that health care is bundled with health insurance, the cost of care has gone way up. Why does it cost $150 to have the doc look at you for 5 minutes? It's because you don't care about the cost. Your insurance says you only pay $10 for the visit, so you don't do any price shopping. The docs know this, so they don't try to compete with their rates. They'll have a high rate and write off whatever the insurance company doesn't reimburse. If you walk in without insurance, you'll have to pay the full $150. And the receptionist will say "Pay up front, if you don't mind."

But the big problem with having health care and health insurance be run by for-profit companies is that they are more than happy to skyrocket your rates or drop you once you stop becoming profitable for them. And once they drop you, you can't get back in. They seem to act surprised that you actually get sick. "How dare you get cancer! Shame on you." Unless you are uber-rich, you're not going to be able to afford any sort of major treatment without insurance.

The only solution I can see is if all of America is in a single risk pool and we all pay the same premium. A giant group plan. And it would seem natural for the govt to run it. But I don't think the current bill is the right way to do it.

Voyager
11-24-2009, 08:06 PM
I agree with you. I want UHC, but this bill is not the way to do it.

This is an excellent example of the best being the enemy of the good. I too would like true UHC, but if we don't pass some version of the bills out there now we aren't going to get anything for another 20 years.

The Tao's Revenge
11-24-2009, 08:34 PM
Why is health care like the police? One might as well ask why we would allow grocery stores to operate on a profit basis. We all need to eat, right?

You've never heard of food assistance programs?


Profit is not inherently bad. Unless you explain why you need to nationalize health care, just saying "profit" isn't an argument for doing so.

The issue is whether or not the pursuit of profit degrades the general quality of healthcare provided. No one is saying someone who goes to the trouble and expense to become a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional shouldn't be rewarded for their hard work and the service they provide with pay befitting the value of their service, but the question here is dog eat dog take any thing you can get your hands capitalism the best, or a more universal model?

The sorry state of costs and limited access to healthcare in America compared to other industrialized nations says dog eat dog isn't the best way. Doctors make us healthy, but other then add inefficiency (as measured in GPD spent on healthcare compared to results), what do insurance companies do?

I personally favor the UK's approach, Universal Healthcare, and private profit driven options if you so desire, and can pay. Their lowered costs and generally better health (a great feat considering the culinary blasphemy they call food) are a testament to that.

Fear Itself
11-24-2009, 09:53 PM
One might as well ask why we would allow grocery stores to operate on a profit basis. If there was as little competition in groceries as there is in health insurance, I would have no qualms against nationalizing all supermarkets.

DanBlather
11-24-2009, 09:56 PM
There's two separate issues here: Health Insurance and Health Care....I loved your post and agree 100% with everything you said.

elucidator
11-25-2009, 12:04 AM
I sympathize with the OP's dilemma, but come down barely on the other side. Barely.

It became obvious to me back when the first committee meetings started up, and nobody was asked to present the case for a single-payer plan. Its not that single-payer plans were discussed and rejected, its that single payer wasn't on the table. Actually, it wasn't even in the room, single payer was denied entrance to the building by the security guards....

And I don't think we correctly estimated the resistance, thinking there would be some resistance, some bargaining, give a little, get a little, the business as usual. Didn't expect the insurance industry to go batshit pizza, screaming, tearing their hair and daubing themselves with shit.

Way it looks, we're likely to get a whole lot of not much. But we should pass something anyway, its a cold blooded realpolitik assessment.

We get something, anything, and start in immediately working towards more. Lean on the resistance, keep up the pressure. If the tighty-righties had been willing to bend, make a bunch of folks happier, they wouldn't have those folks as their enemy. Do now.

Or maybe if they hadn't been so public about their screaming shit fits, they might have been able to blame the Dems for not trying hard enough. Tough sell to begin with, blaming the other guy for not making you do something. Made a lot tougher by the bombastic and public displays of over-my-dead-penis obstructionism.

We weren't going to win this in one swell foop, wasn't realistic to expect that we might. But they can't spend money like that all the time, they can't keep up hysteria forever.

Demand, negotiate, accept, nail down, resume demanding. Repeat as necessary. Democracy is a bitch, but I love her.

BrainGlutton
11-25-2009, 12:05 AM
For my part I will not be completely satisfied with anything short of single-payer. However, I don't know about the Senate bill, but the bill the House approved (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordable_Health_Care_for_America_Act) --

The central changes made by the legislation include:

* prohibiting health insurers from refusing coverage based on patients' medical histories[2][3]

* prohibiting health insurers from charging different rates based on patients' medical histories or gender[2][3]

* repeal of insurance companies' exemption from anti-trust laws[3][4]

* establishing minimum standards for qualified health benefit plans[2]

* requiring most employers to provide coverage for their workers or pay a surtax on the worker's wages up to 8%[2][5]

* restrictions on abortion coverage in any insurance plans for which federal funds are used[3][5]

* an expansion of Medicaid to include more low-income Americans by increasing Medicaid eligibility limits to 150% of the Federal Poverty Level and by covering adults without dependents so as long as either or any segment doesn't fall under the narrow exceptions outlined by various clauses throughout the proposal.[6][7]

* a subsidy to low- and middle-income Americans to help buy insurance[5]

* a central health insurance exchange where the public can compare policies and rates[5]

* a government-run insurance plan (public option);[5] according to some analyses, the plan would be prohibited from covering abortions[8]

* requiring most Americans to carry or obtain qualifying health insurance coverage or possibly face a surtax for non-compliance. [2][9]

* a 5.4% surtax on individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000 ($1 million for married couples filing joint returns)[2]

* a 2.5% excise tax on medical devices[2]

* reductions in projected spending on Medicare of $400 billion over a ten-year period[3]

* inclusion of language originally proposed in the Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act[10][11]

* inclusion of language originally proposed in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2009.[12][13]


-- would at any rate be a vast improvement over what we've got now. Half a loaf, y'know?

ElvisL1ves
11-25-2009, 08:16 AM
This is an excellent example of the best being the enemy of the good. I too would like true UHC, but if we don't pass some version of the bills out there now we aren't going to get anything for another 20 years.
Exactly. It would be incredibly unrealistic to think that something so major could be perfect right out of the box. The system is going to need maintenance and adjustments over the years, sure - but that is no reason at all not to get going. It's been long enough, and there's no better time than now. If we don't get the program established, we can't make the improvements. Politics is the art of the doable.

And we aren't ever going to get single-payer. That was never a realistic option.

John Mace
11-25-2009, 08:27 AM
You've never heard of food assistance programs?
Do those food assistance programs nationalize grocery stores? No. And so that has nothing to do with the post you responded to.

UltraVires
11-25-2009, 08:36 AM
There's two separate issues here: Health Insurance and Health Care.

Health Insurance is insurance against unusual and expensive events. Heart attack, cancer, broken limb, etc. This type of insurance is actually quite reasonable. You can get a family plan with a $10k family deductible for around $200/mo. That means once your family has spent $10k in the year, the insurance will pick up the rest. Everyone should have this type of insurance because anyone can rack up $50k from an accident regardless of their health.

Health Care is care for minor or regular health issues. Checkups, colds, sprains, etc. This is where it doesn't make sense to provide it in a for-profit system. Profit itself is not even the issue. It's the fact that there's a whole system that has to be paid for to support these usual and expected medical expenses. Even if the insurance companies make zero profit, someone is still paying for the insurance companies buildings, employees, publications, utilities, etc.

The problem is that health care cannot be ignored. If your car breaks down you can take the bus. But if your body has problems you can't just hop into a different body. So you need to visit the doctor for normal health issues. But now that health care is bundled with health insurance, the cost of care has gone way up. Why does it cost $150 to have the doc look at you for 5 minutes? It's because you don't care about the cost. Your insurance says you only pay $10 for the visit, so you don't do any price shopping. The docs know this, so they don't try to compete with their rates. They'll have a high rate and write off whatever the insurance company doesn't reimburse. If you walk in without insurance, you'll have to pay the full $150. And the receptionist will say "Pay up front, if you don't mind."

But the big problem with having health care and health insurance be run by for-profit companies is that they are more than happy to skyrocket your rates or drop you once you stop becoming profitable for them. And once they drop you, you can't get back in. They seem to act surprised that you actually get sick. "How dare you get cancer! Shame on you." Unless you are uber-rich, you're not going to be able to afford any sort of major treatment without insurance.

The only solution I can see is if all of America is in a single risk pool and we all pay the same premium. A giant group plan. And it would seem natural for the govt to run it. But I don't think the current bill is the right way to do it.

Agreed. Just like home owners insurance only covers things like your home burning down and doesn't pay to replace a burnt out light bulb.

And I think that's why the high deductible policies coupled with the tax deductible HSAs were a great start, but that made way too much sense. Actually, the largest reason why such a policy won't/didn't succeed is that you still have too many people, especially the elderly and poor on traditional government medical programs that don't promote any type of competition.

Just look at an itemized hospital statement or physician statement and tell me if such prices would continue in a pure competitive market with consumers making informed choices.

adaher
11-25-2009, 08:58 AM
Whether or not the bills are a good idea objectively, it would seem to me that any great undertaking, be it a war or major domestic legislation, needs public support. This bill doesn't have it. For that alone, it should not be passed until the Democrats can bring the public on board.

As for its objective merits, it's just not paid for. The CBO score assumes cuts that are not likely to happen. For example, part of the savings is supposed to come from reducing provider payments, but Congress has been avoiding cutting provider payments for years.

I want everyone to have access to affordable health care, but nothing is worth exploding the deficit. If the debt has to be inflated away, or the unthinkable happens and we default, we'll have more uninsured then than we do now.

ElvisL1ves
11-25-2009, 09:12 AM
The CBO scoring shows this bill REDUCING the deficit by $130 million annually.

Cite for health care not having public support?

The Other Waldo Pepper
11-25-2009, 09:38 AM
The CBO scoring shows this bill REDUCING the deficit by $130 million annually.

Cite for health care not having public support?

Does this one count? http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gSXIViw_RWvU3uweKkhKfhAVGgqgD9C5MHO04

So most folks don't expect it to affect them, and those who think it'll make 'em worse off outnumber those who think it'll improve their lot (both as a matter of finances and access to care) -- and while they're split on whether it'll improve or worsen medical care around the country, those who think it'll be worse for the country's finances outnumber those who think it'll be an improvement.

People want change. Do they want this change?

BrainGlutton
11-25-2009, 09:42 AM
The CBO scoring shows this bill REDUCING the deficit by $130 million annually.

Cite for health care not having public support?

It has, but the picture is complicated: (http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/185853.asp)

Among those who have opinions, 41 percent of Americans support the House bill - a very different plan may pass the Senate - while 39 percent oppose it. Democrats (62 percent) and Independents (48 percent) give at least qualified approval, while 70 percent of Republicans give it thumbs down.

A slim majority, 51 percent of those surveyed, fear that the House bill could increase the cost of health care in America: Just 15 percent think prices will go down, although a major goal of the bill is to give health insurers some competition.

On individual issues, however, the public is pro-reform. A sampling:


* 89 percent would forbid insurance companies from cutting off coverage after a person becomes sick;

* 77 percent support providing subsidies so that low and middle-income American can buy insurance.

* 83 percent would prohibit health insurance companies from refusing coverage based on a patient's medical history.

* 80 percent would prohibit health insurers from charging different rates based on a patient's gender.

* 84 percent would limit how much people can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses.

Just over half of those surveyed - 52 percent - support the so-called public option, a government-run insurance plan that would provide an alternative to private insurance plans.

A slightly higher majority - 54 percent - approve of the House vote to prohibit use of federal money for insurance that covers elective abortions.

adaher
11-25-2009, 09:48 AM
The CBO scoring shows this bill REDUCING the deficit by $130 million annually.


Assuming Medicare cuts that Doug Elmendorf says are unlikely to materialize. The Congressional Research Service has said the same thing.

As for public support, the polls are pretty consistent. At best, only 40-45% support the bill. That's not the kind of support you need for this kind of undertaking.

http://pollingreport.com/health.htm

The Tao's Revenge
11-27-2009, 10:02 PM
Do those food assistance programs nationalize grocery stores? No. And so that has nothing to do with the post you responded to.

Dang it, You don't see why a program intended to ensure universal access to basic food is the food equivalent to universal health-care? For realz? Really really realz?

Okay food stamps may have holes, mostly due to Republicans crying like spoiled stuck pigs, but they do show Americans do have an electoral will for no one to starve, universal nutrition if you will.

Now further your analogy of socializing food fails because, short of slavery, you can't nationalize the doctors themselves. What you can nationalize is paying the medical costs, salaries, equipment costs, etc. Just like food stamps are form of nationalizing the costs of food for the needy.

Wesley Clark
11-27-2009, 10:21 PM
We do need massive fundamental reform, but this is an imperfect society. Most voters barely pay attention are easily swayed by wealthy corporations who fund ad campaigns. Corporations represented in this debate (insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals) control over a trillion dollars of our economy. The GOP wants to derail any health reform so they can use it to get reelected in 2010 and 2012.

We need massive reform (single payer, comparative effectiveness, more R&D into ways to cut costs and improve innovation, more outsourcing). But when you combine a democracy made up of malleable, uninformed voters; trillion dollar corporations and rabid political bias, its not going to happen.

The Flying Dutchman
11-27-2009, 10:50 PM
As a Canadian, I understand the OPs frustration.

I so looked forward to America joining the rest of the free world and experiencing the benefits of UHC.

I just don't think it will happen anymore.

If you don't get public option, you don't get UHC.

If you do get public option, it will be just as expensive as the private plans because you won't have the benefit of economy of scale and simplified administration that we enjoy, thereby threatening its future.

You appear to be caught between a rock and a hardplace.

gonzomax
11-27-2009, 10:56 PM
The CBO scoring shows this bill REDUCING the deficit by $130 million annually.


Assuming Medicare cuts that Doug Elmendorf says are unlikely to materialize. The Congressional Research Service has said the same thing.

As for public support, the polls are pretty consistent. At best, only 40-45% support the bill. That's not the kind of support you need for this kind of undertaking.

http://pollingreport.com/health.htm

What do polls say about keeping the broken system we have? Anybody with firing synapses is aware our present system is badly broken. It has to be tossed. It can not be salvaged. The problem is that powers making huge profits off our present health care also can force the politicians to keep them in a money making position. The insurance companies are the problem not the solution.

iamthewalrus(:3=
11-30-2009, 06:47 PM
Dang it, You don't see why a program intended to ensure universal access to basic food is the food equivalent to universal health-care? For realz? Really really realz?Food assistance programs are there to provide basic food for people who don't have enough money to buy it for themselves.

We already have Medicaid that serves an almost exactly analogous role in health care. So, why do we need to nationalize the grocery stores?

adaher
12-01-2009, 12:07 AM
What do polls say about keeping the broken system we have?

Keeping the current system is almost as popular now as the health care bill. The Democrats have done an amazing job of increasing confidence in the current system.

The Understander
12-01-2009, 12:25 AM
This is an excellent example of the best being the enemy of the good. I too would like true UHC, but if we don't pass some version of the bills out there now we aren't going to get anything for another 20 years.

This.

The entire exercise has become a political exercise and nothing more. This bill fails, and Obama has been 'proven' a failure, and 2010 seals the deal in sweeping a group that will never entertain any concept of health care reform into power in 2012.

Put even this flawed bill into place and there will, at the very least, be the expectation that Something Can Be Done. In my opinion, once a program is in place it is far easier to revise than the initial process of ratification.

adaher
12-01-2009, 12:43 AM
There are programs in place. They are called Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and of course a wide variety of smaller programs.

Also, the bill could be broken up. You can do insurance reform in one bill, you could do exchanges in another, set up a public option in another, and do subsidies in another.

There's no reason to take a comprehensive approach right from the start. That's turned out to be a big mistake, especially since the people who drafted the bill never made any effort to take their case to the voters.

Zoe
12-01-2009, 03:10 AM
I just want the same insurance policy that the Senators have. Is their policy 2,000 pages long?

Vote yes on the bill and get a damned foot in the health care door.

Today I paid $50 for just one bottle of meds. (One of many.) It had a note on it that said, "Your insurance saved you $357 today."

gonzomax
12-01-2009, 10:02 AM
The Cobra subsidy is running out. If a laid off person has to pay for Cobra is will consume 84 percent of their unemployment check. The membership of the uninsured is about to expand. All is well. No reason to get it done.

RTFirefly
12-01-2009, 12:48 PM
I just want the same insurance policy that the Senators have. Is their policy 2,000 pages long? Double-spaced, with huge margins, etc.

With similar formatting, the bill would be about the same length as Sarah Palin's book. But much more factual, and with a lot more substance!

BTW, someone snuck a clause in the Senate bill saying that Congresscritters would get their insurance through the Health Insurance Exchanges that the bill sets up. I'm rooting for that to make it into the final bill that comes out of conference.

Vote yes on the bill and get a damned foot in the health care door.
Absofuckinglutely. Losing on this won't mean a better bill will pass in the next Congress, or the one after that, or the one after that either.

This is far from the best bill in the world, but Social Security wasn't all that great when it was first instituted, either. Once it's there, we won't have to wait 70 years to fix its flaws.

septimus
12-01-2009, 01:40 PM
This is an excellent example of the best being the enemy of the good. I too would like true UHC, but if we don't pass some version of the bills out there now we aren't going to get anything for another 20 years.

I'm afraid you're wrong. It's more "anything to get a bill passed" being the enemy of us all. I saw a news article recently suggesting that insurance companies are almost encouraging the passage of the legislation in its present form, with Republicans dragging their feet in part to get even more egregious concessions.

To a large extent, high costs are the problem, not some people's lack of insurance. (The former drives the latter.) Entrenching a system deliberately designed to have high cost is not the answer. (Bush's Medicare "reforms" are a case in point.)

What we saw Wall Street do to the taxpayer during the Bush-Obama transition reminded me so much of Naomi Klein's description of South Africa's Central Bank actions at the end of arpatheid. Please let's not make a similar mistake in the name of "any health care bill is better than none."

Hope this helps!
James

Kearsen
12-01-2009, 02:43 PM
It has, but the picture is complicated: (http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/185853.asp)

Isn't this what most conservatives on this very board were espousing all along?

NinetyWt
12-01-2009, 02:58 PM
You can get a family plan with a $10k family deductible for around $200/mo.

Not for long; the rates increase every year. My 'family' policy (myself and one child) is going to be $355 per month in January, with a $10 k deductible.


I do agree with you in principle; I think people should foot the bill for their own treatment, up to a point. But as someone upthread pointed out, a doctor's visit shouldn't cost $150, a month's supply of one med shouldn't cost $168. The whole insurance situation has caused prices to be artficially high.

elucidator
12-01-2009, 03:11 PM
Well, its hard to argue much with such reasoned analysis as is offered by Sen Coburn (R- Batshit)

Coburn tells seniors: ‘You’re going to die soon’ if the Senate health care bill passes.

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/01/coburn-die-soon-health/

Superfluous Parentheses
12-01-2009, 06:02 PM
OMG! I never noticed you were a liberal!

adaher
12-02-2009, 12:43 AM
Well, its hard to argue much with such reasoned analysis as is offered by Sen Coburn (R- Batshit)

Coburn tells seniors: ‘You’re going to die soon’ if the Senate health care bill passes.

It's right out of the Grayson playbook. I don't see a problem here.

Turnabout is fair play. When Republicans tried to cut the growth of Medicare by a smaller amount, Democrats ran ads showing Republicans pushing a granny in a wheelchair off a cliff.

elucidator
12-02-2009, 12:48 AM
OMG! I never noticed you were a liberal!

Liberals are centrist wussies. They think they can tinker with the Moloch Machine, and bit by bit, turn it into a solar-powered rainbow extruder. Feh!

Snag
12-02-2009, 11:27 AM
Exactly. It would be incredibly unrealistic to think that something so major could be perfect right out of the box. The system is going to need maintenance and adjustments over the years, sure - but that is no reason at all not to get going. It's been long enough, and there's no better time than now. If we don't get the program established, we can't make the improvements. Politics is the art of the doable.

And we aren't ever going to get single-payer. That was never a realistic option.

It depends on how well the public option is set up and how it performs. If done right it will provide some serious competition for private insurance in the market place. A strong public option might eventually make it clear to the public that insurance companies provide no added value to the health care system. Don't forget, programs like medicare evolve from where they started back in the days when it was first passed. Despite its current problems it is still a huge success; all the screaming about it being socialized medicine back in the day that would destroy the health care system have been proven to be BS. The Republicans were offered a bill this year to eliminate it. That bill came nowhere close to passing on their behalf.

If we're smart, the public option program will be given a lock box in short order for its funding and expanded over the next few years. It is also possible that states might pass single payer plans which might increase the pressure if they are successful. And one form of single payer could be where insurance companies all compete for 300 million clients obtainable only through the government. That would simplify paperwork and standardize and provide basic regulation in part through the marketplace. Not perfect, again as pointed out elsewhere in the thread, it's still half a loaf.

gonzomax
12-04-2009, 11:15 PM
One of our fine republican Senators took the floor and waved a Medicare Advantage policy in front of the senate. He explained how the cost increases were proof of why the government can not run insurance. He also pointed out how the coverage was slipping yet again.
Of course when it was pointed out that Advantage is a private insurance offering, he tried to find a way to cover up. He failed miserably.
Of course the Medigap policies in Michigan all doubled at the same time a couple weeks ago. Medical Insurance companies are exempt from anti-trust laws. Aren't they special?

The Tao's Revenge
12-09-2009, 09:55 PM
Food assistance programs are there to provide basic food for people who don't have enough money to buy it for themselves.

We already have Medicaid that serves an almost exactly analogous role in health care. So, why do we need to nationalize the grocery stores?

Uh no. You're completely talking out of ignorance. Medicaid is only an option following certain qualifiers such as age ranges.

Assuming you're not spewing mindless teabagger talking points, explain how a childless young adult in need can get medicaid, or retract your false bullshit claim.

iamthewalrus(:3=
12-14-2009, 02:36 PM
Uh no. You're completely talking out of ignorance. Medicaid is only an option following certain qualifiers such as age ranges.

Assuming you're not spewing mindless teabagger talking points, explain how a childless young adult in need can get medicaid, or retract your false bullshit claim.I retract "almost exactly analogous". On review, the eligibility requirements appear to be much more strict than I thought. Ignorance fought.

I think my original point is still a valid one, though. We have systems like food stamps to get food to people who otherwise cannot afford it, and they work pretty well. Even in the cases where they are clearly lacking, the rallying cry is usually not that the best way to solve the problem is to establish a national grocery service. Why is health care better served by this sort of governmental system than it would be by a food-stamp sort of system?

FWIW, I'm willing to be convinced. I'm not a teabagger, I'm not a Republican. I'm a socially liberal economically conservative independent. I'm very concerned that we're about to get a poorly-planned, incredibly expansive and expensive entitlement system that will be incredibly difficult to change later because any change will mean taking health benefits away from some people.