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Author Topic: Republican Scott Brown wins special election in MA - Analysis of Democratic options
Ron Lambert
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Tom, the more time goes by, the more examination from every angle takes place. It is not a matter of criticisms just being repeated. It is a matter of seeing that those criticisms are well-founded. Do you approve of the deal Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson got for his state of Nebraska, so that his state will forever be exempted from having to pay any of the cost of an expanded Medicaid--just to win his vote for the health care bill? Is that fair to the rest of the nation? The leaders of the Democratic Party approved this deal. So this is the kind of politics Democrats seem to stand for now, as the public sees it. This is what they did! And this is why Tuesday, November 2, 2010, may very well turn out to be Armageddon for Democrats. New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts, are early indicators of this.
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Tresopax
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Ron, as more time has gone by, public opinion polls have consistently shown a majority of people support a public option.

Therefore, the public option has not failed any test of public scrutiny. The only reason it hasn't been passed is it failed the "60 out of 100 Senators Test".

The public option was not included in the Senate bill when the Massachussetts Senate seat election occurred either, so it doesn't really make sense to suggest that is an indicator about the public option either - unless you want to argue that the people of Mass. are angry that after all that they passed a bill in which the public option was excluded.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
So this is the kind of politics Democrats seem to stand for now, as the public sees it.
But that's completely unrelated to whether or not criticisms of the "public option" are well-founded.
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Lyrhawn
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Ron -

The majority of the complaints against Democrats only came after they gutted their own bill to make it more palatable to moderate Republicans, all of whom jumped ship after being given a virtual blank check to revise as they saw fit. The current Senate bill was written as much by Maine's Senate contingent as by any Democrat. In other words, the more bi-partisan it got, the worse the bill got, and the louder the complaints became. I'm not saying there weren't valid criticisms, but to say that the Republicans are fighting a substantive fight against the legislation in question is simply wrong.

By the by, what do you consider "Armageddon" for the Democrats? Losing the Senate entirely? Losing every seat up for grabs? Losing five seats?

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Katarain
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I had the thought on seeing the acceptance speech of Scott Brown winning the seat (the first time I had seen him) that he is going to be the republican candidate in one of the next 2 elections.

That's my prediction. Since I don't actually care if I'm right, and have nothing to lose, I'm perfectly willing to make that determination.

ETA: For President, that is.

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Ron Lambert
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Lyrhawn, Democrats only sought to make the health care bill more palatable to fellow Democrats, so they could get a filibuster-proof majority. There was nothing remotely bi-partisan about this legislation. Republicans were totally excluded from the process of writing the bill. Their own alternate health care bill was simply ignored.

This is the problem when one party controls both houses of Congress and the White House--especially when that party has a potentially fillibuster-proof majority. They think they do not have to seek bipartisanship in anything.

Tresopax, if all the polls are tending in favor of the public option in the present health care bill, then why do the polls that matter--the ones on election day--seem to be consistently going in the other direction?

Do you really think the majority want some bureaucrats in Washington making all the decisions? Have you heard that people are looking upon this with increasing favor? And are people warming up to the idea of paying higher taxes? Should everyone be required to pay for the health care of people who live careless lifestyles (like smoking, drinking, drugging)? Insurance companies now at least charge more to people with higher-risk lifestyes. And what about allowing people to obtain insurance across state lines, or to obtain equivalent and cheaper medicines from Canada? If the government is going to manage everything in a public option, then people want to be sure they agree with the way government would manage it, and so far that does not look likely to be the case.

If you disagree with this assessment, then please explain why you think voters keep voting down the health care plan and everyone associated with it. You can only blame misleading publicity, Fox News, the previous adminstration, for only so long. Those excuses are no longer credible, besides the fact that they always were silly, and disrespectful to the critics who were and are thoughtful and responsible. Democrats' first mistake was not taking seriously their critics.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Democrats only sought to make the health care bill more palatable to fellow Democrats, so they could get a filibuster-proof majority.
No matter how many times partisan pundits repeat this, it still won't be true.

quote:
Tresopax, if all the polls are tending in favor of the public option in the present health care bill, then why do the polls that matter--the ones on election day--seem to be consistently going in the other direction?
One suggestion: a widespread, orchestrated campaign of lies and misinformation.
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King of Men
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Your theory does not explain why the opinion polls are not affected the same way as the election-day ones.
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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Build that many homes near the coast in an area prone to frequent hurricane hits is a disaster waiting to happen, and the rates will always be high, until you guys start adopting some sort of building standards that equate to California's with regards to earthquakes.

Post-Andrew, we build to withstand Cat 3 storms. Personally, I figure the more inevitable problem is the erosion of the coastline. It doesn't matter how well you build your house if the ground under it is gone.

quote:
Telling people they have to buy insurance and only offering expensive plans is not good business. Even helping people buy the plans is just throwing money down a hole if we can't rein in the costs. The public option sounds like the answer to those problems, until you watch the government run an insurance pool.
quote:
And I don't buy your premise. Who said that they had to buy only expensive plans? Who said the government plan would be more expensive than other options? Who said private insurance will rein in costs?


That is not my premise.

The stated objection to current insurance plans is that, on average, they are too expensive. Therefore, telling people they must buy insurance is telling them they must buy something they perceive to be expensive.

There's no one magic bullet to bringing down costs. But I don't think creating a government insurance plan should even be part of the arsenal. It's too easy for the guy making the rules to tilt everything in his own favor - especially if he's doing it for noble reasons.

At the end of the day, an insurance pool has to be actuarily sound or we're just digging a deeper hole. I at least trust the guy making money off it to keep wanting to make money off it in the future.

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SenojRetep
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A bit out of the flow of the thread (does that count as a mixed metaphor?), but this is a good background post on the challenges of doing HCR through recon-silly-ation.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
At the end of the day, an insurance pool has to be actuarily sound or we're just digging a deeper hole. I at least trust the guy making money off it to keep wanting to make money off it in the future.
Why? He's the same guy who is happy to take your money until you come knocking with a medical bill, and then he shuts you down until you die penniless. They don't care about you. They don't even care about your money once you become a liability to them. Insurance companies want healthy people they never have to pay out on, and for those that ninja their way in with expensive bills, they deny coverage or boot them out.

It is not a system designed to provide coverage. It's designed to DENY coverage. Denying coverage means more money, because all that matters is the bottom line, and the bottom line is a financial figure, not a moral one. Government wouldn't have nearly that same disposition.

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King of Men
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Yep. That's why anything more serious than the sniffles is a death sentence around here, as is well known.
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malanthrop
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They are only digging their graves deeper with their interpretation. They believe Obama has failed to speak enough to the people to convince them, although he has given more speeches than any other president. They offend a huge majority of the population by calling Tea Party supporters ignorant, red necked, racist hicks. They hold their noses up and say those opposed to government health care are just too uninformed to know what is best for them. Obama mocks Brown for "driving a truck"....big mistake, the Ford F150 is the top selling vehicle in the country.

The people do not want what they have to offer and their condescending attitude only further alienates them. The voters do not want politicians who express an attitude that the voters are too stupid to know what is best for them. To Obama, a truck is a campaign prop but to Brown it is his vehicle of choice. John Kerry threw on a flannel shirt while campaigning in certain regions but people can tell the difference between a prop and a person.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Your theory does not explain why the opinion polls are not affected the same way as the election-day ones.

Because, as I said on the first page, this election was about more than just health care. Every single person I know who voted for him didn't like him, but thought he was the lesser of two evils. Not because of health care, which MA already has, sort of. If anything, having this in MA, where health care is less of a problem HELPED Brown win, because it wasn't as much of an issue there.

As short sighted as that is for the future of the rest of us. [Frown]

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Kwea
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Mal, it wasn't a truck that was an issue. It was how he tried to play the truck off during the election.

HE brought it up, and HE made it an issue, mainly because he didn't have any real ones.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Insurance companies want healthy people they never have to pay out on, and for those that ninja their way in with expensive bills, they deny coverage or boot them out.

That probably depends on the company in question. I've got CHP, supposedly one of the best in the nation. I've never heard anyone claim anything of the sort with them, but they're a non-profit HMO so there's probably less focus on squeezing every penny from the customer for the shareholder.

The other issue with insurance is all the stuff we think it ought to pay for. At some point, there needs to be a rethinking of coverage. We probably ought to be offered plans that break disease and premiums into tiers. Plan A is so much a month and covers the least expensive diseases. Plan B is more a month and covers moderately expensive diseases. Plan C would charge an arm and a leg and cover the most catastrophic.

It's hard to find numbers on how much diseases cost to treat. Maybe it's a big conspiracy and if we just had the government running things prices would drop to a fraction and everyone would be approved for every disease. But I doubt it. I suspect in order to keep folks paying to see the doctor and get a broken arm set, they have to let people die of the more expensive stuff.

I'd like to see us do what we can to keep costs down so there's more available to use fighting disease. But I doubt we'll ever see a day when no claim is denied.

quote:
Government wouldn't have nearly that same disposition.

Why not? You're only good to them while you're paying taxes in, not taking taxes out. What magically protects governemnt from seeing the same flow of numbers on the speadsheets?

I don't see health care as an us vs them argument. I see it as a human nature argument. Everyone has some incentive to take your money and let you die. Most of them just don't.

Please don't think I'm arguing the free market will fix all. I'm a big believer in minimum standards and oversight. If insurance really is the wild west, of course it needs reform. But I suspect we the people need a little reform of our expectations of what modern medicine can reasonably accomplish on a budget. Even a really big one.

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scholarette
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When my sister came to visit us, she got very sick and had to go to the ER. As a Canadian, she was concerned because she thought she had no coverage while in the US. When she went to the ER, they smiled and reassured her that it was no problem and she would not be paying a penny. They routinely bill Canada and Canada pays up. Now that is the insurance I want.
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kanelock1
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Democrats only sought to make the health care bill more palatable to fellow Democrats, so they could get a filibuster-proof majority.
No matter how many times partisan pundits repeat this, it still won't be true.

quote:
Tresopax, if all the polls are tending in favor of the public option in the present health care bill, then why do the polls that matter--the ones on election day--seem to be consistently going in the other direction?
One suggestion: a widespread, orchestrated campaign of lies and misinformation.

And yet how much of the "negotiations" and "meetings" have been televised on c-span, as Obama stated no less than EIGHT TIMES would be the case? Or is this more "lies and misinformation?"
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Why not? You're only good to them while you're paying taxes in, not taking taxes out. What magically protects governemnt from seeing the same flow of numbers on the speadsheets?

I don't see health care as an us vs them argument. I see it as a human nature argument. Everyone has some incentive to take your money and let you die. Most of them just don't.

Please don't think I'm arguing the free market will fix all. I'm a big believer in minimum standards and oversight. If insurance really is the wild west, of course it needs reform. But I suspect we the people need a little reform of our expectations of what modern medicine can reasonably accomplish on a budget. Even a really big one.

Government is answerable to the people in ways corporations are not. Sob stories don't move corporations, but they do move congress. All it takes is one decently publicized story to scare the crap out of Congress. Corporations can bury you in paperwork and bureaucracy, and you might think, "well, so can the government!" but that hasn't been my experience.

[anecdote time] When my brother was in the Marines, he had a mess of medical problems as a result of his basic training. He was eventually diagnosed with MRSA, fibromyalgia, and some sort of flesh eating bacteria that ate a hole in his thigh. He was treated pretty bad for awhile, but they fixed most of the surface issues and told him to get back to work, more or less. But when my Mom heard what was going on, she went into crazy Mom mode, called congressmen, called senators, called anyone and everyone. And it worked. He ended up with a medical discharge, and when the VA hospital denied him coverage after he got out for related problems, all it took was one phone call and our senator's office fixed that too.

Now, that might have been a special case because it's more of a third rail to mess with members of the military than with ordinary citizens, but I think if it was a government run option, and the situation had been similar, it would have been sorted out. It's a matter of self-preservation. Either they figure out a system that works, or all of Congress is going to become a massive national complaint center for people who can't get the system to work. And as far as costs go, how does every other first world nation in the world manage to do it, and for HALF of what we spend?

We aren't talking about some impossible dream. Others have done it. There's no special reason why we can't. We just aren't doing it. The pay for services structure of our health care system needs to be overhauled into a pay for performance system. That would cut a lot of waste out, and improve care while dropping cost. I'm a very vocal supporter of tying national health insurance into a plan of revamping the entire national health care infrastructure, because it sorely needs it.

I don't think corporations are actively out to kill people, but I do think that most of them don't give a damn whether we live or die, and don't much care at all what role they play in that outcome. They have a long history to back it up, and it might not be all of them, but it seems like it's all the ones that really matter. Despite that, I'm not necessarily anti-corporation. But when it comes to things like the health of the nation (this applies to polluters as well), I don't much care to kowtow to the altar of corporate independence. We do whatever we need to do as a nation to make sure we're healthy. If that means corporations suffer, then tough cookies.

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kanelock1
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The problem is this, corporations are not the only ones to suffer. Anyone with at least a little common sense should realize that when a business of any kind has their costs go up, they either have to raise prices, lower quality,or cut back on employees. That sounds like a lot of suffering for a lot of people to me. Of course I could be wrong.
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Samprimary
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I'm really not anti-corporation or anti-business or w/e, it's just that this is something that government is realistically going to have to do, sooner or later. And the longer we wait, the more money we waste on the actuarial model.

See:

quote:
And as far as costs go, how does every other first world nation in the world manage to do it, and for HALF of what we spend?

We aren't talking about some impossible dream. Others have done it. There's no special reason why we can't.


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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by kanelock1:
The problem is this, corporations are not the only ones to suffer. Anyone with at least a little common sense should realize that when a business of any kind has their costs go up, they either have to raise prices, lower quality,or cut back on employees. That sounds like a lot of suffering for a lot of people to me. Of course I could be wrong.

Why are those the only options? Maybe it means they have to get used to the idea that health insurance shouldn't be a specially protected industry, and insurance companies shouldn't expect to make billions of dollars in profits every year on account of those protections.

Insurance companies are not suffering right now. And if their costs went up, it might eat into their profits, but it isn't going to put them out of business. You're basing your assumptions on the idea that we have to protect insurance profits. I'm operating under no such restriction.

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kanelock1
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Let me respond with a question. Do you own stock or have a 401K? Because if you do, those things are affected to by a lose in profits. It is all linked.
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Lyrhawn
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It would be a one time loss. Once the industry adjusts to the new profit structure, the losses would be normal relative to what losses were before hand.

I would be okay with Congress apportioning funds to help offset losses for individuals retirement funds due to health insurance reform.

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kanelock1
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Were would congress get those funds from? Oh, right. Raising taxes. Nothing like taking money from people to pay them back for money that was lost by those same people.
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Lyrhawn
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It's an investment. You're against spending some money now to save money later?

Hell, it'd be a drop in the bucket of total spending on healthcare in this country.

Are you arguing based on ideology, or pragmatism? In other words, are you arguing because you honestly think your way would be the way to provide the best care for the least amount of money, or do you just have some natural distrust of the government handling it, but no empirical basis for that belief?

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kanelock1
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A little of both, actually. Most people I know are satisfied with their health care, except the people,like my mother, who are on Medicaid and Medicare. When your doctor has to call and get approval for a med that you need to survive, that's wrong. I am not saying private insurance is perfect, but I will not vilify a company for doing what all of us are trying to do. Make money.
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Lyrhawn
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I care more about getting people healthy without bankrupting them than I do about kowtowing to corporate profits. When there's an entire industry built around excluding those who need health care the most so they can make more money, I don't think my vilification of them means much. They earn it themselves.

But if you want to argue that it's not the fault of insurance companies, that's fine, and it's even valid. It's not the responsibility of private corporations to ensure that people are healthy. I actually agree with that. But if it's not their job, then whose job is it? All that remains is government.

What is your third option? You don't like the government, but corporations have already left a black hole that tens of millions of Americans fall into because they're either too sick, or too poor to afford the private options. What's your solution?

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theamazeeaz
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For me the idea that everyone has some sort of guarantee for health coverage is the most important. This needs to be independent of who you are, what you do and how much money you have.

I'm 23, a non-smoker, a non-drinker, don't drink soda, not sexually active, not over-weight, never broke a bone, I live in a city where I walk everywhere and I'm not sick that often. On occasion, I've been know to eat vegetables. And I'm insured.

Well, last week I had my appendix out. Who'da thunk? Not me, that's for sure- I've never been to a hospital (as a patient) before in my life. Might I forgo health insurance for some other expense if I were in a different situation? Might I avoid a doctor's visit for a lethal condition? Absolutely. I'm less worried about people who are going to burden the system than the people who aren't getting what they need. It will even out.

I think health care is one of those things that everyone needs in a way that shouldn't be optional- like an education. We aren't set up that way and it's going to take a lot of work and there are going to be mis-steps, but by God it need to happen.

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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by kanelock1:
A little of both, actually. Most people I know are satisfied with their health care, except the people,like my mother, who are on Medicaid and Medicare. When your doctor has to call and get approval for a med that you need to survive, that's wrong. I am not saying private insurance is perfect, but I will not vilify a company for doing what all of us are trying to do. Make money.

My experience with health insurance and medicaid were the complete opposite. On medicaid, I never had a problem getting anything the doctor signed off on. With private insurance, I waited four years for my problems to get severe enough to warrant the surgery for them. The doctor would have had me do the surgery earlier, but until I was actually missing work at least once a month for the pain, the insurance wouldn't pay. Long term, things probably would have turned out better if I had surgery a few years earlier. In retrospect, I should have just lied and said I had to miss work do the pain regularly.
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Launchywiggin
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
quote:
Originally posted by kanelock1:
A little of both, actually. Most people I know are satisfied with their health care, except the people,like my mother, who are on Medicaid and Medicare. When your doctor has to call and get approval for a med that you need to survive, that's wrong. I am not saying private insurance is perfect, but I will not vilify a company for doing what all of us are trying to do. Make money.

My experience with health insurance and medicaid were the complete opposite. On medicaid, I never had a problem getting anything the doctor signed off on. With private insurance, I waited four years for my problems to get severe enough to warrant the surgery for them. The doctor would have had me do the surgery earlier, but until I was actually missing work at least once a month for the pain, the insurance wouldn't pay. Long term, things probably would have turned out better if I had surgery a few years earlier. In retrospect, I should have just lied and said I had to miss work do the pain regularly.
My experience with Medicaid was good, too. Now I can't get any health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. People's lives and health shouldn't be a money-making business.
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Kwea
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We ALREADY pay for this crap, people! Most of our nations hospitals are on the brink of bankruptcy because of the burden of non-paying clients who don't come in for help until they are critical. It's a horrible system, because early care costs less, prevents complications, and doesn't tie up hospital beds needed for actual critical patients.


We all pay the price for these people. A public option, even a partial one, who cost less than what we already pay, and would improve care for 95% of those people as well.

Medicare and Medicade are part of the problem, as they change the regulations and rules yearly just to keep hospitals from being reimbursed out of their funds. It takes the hospital about 2-3 months of training their staff each year just to get things right.....and for first 1-2 months they can deny reimbursement to the hospitals for not following the new rules on documentation.

We already have rationing of care for everyone who can't afford to go to the doctor or hospital. So those people stay home, get more ill, then come in when it's too late to help them.


It's pathetic.

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Samprimary
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quote:
We ALREADY pay for this crap, people!
Correct! In fact, since the system has been collapsing, we've been socializing it anyway. But we socialize it in terrible ways because we don't want "government takeover" so taxpayer money gets wasted anyway and we don't fix the system at all.

EXA: the dakotas have to bribe doctors to stay there.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
And as far as costs go, how does every other first world nation in the world manage to do it, and for HALF of what we spend?

This to me is the million dollar question, and until someone can definitively answer it, I'm going to be really skeptical of any plan to fix things. Bad data in, and all that.

If the Dems can show me that the bulk of what we spend on healthcare is because of insurance companies' profit margins, I'll switch parties and take to the streets demanding we go Canadian tomorrow. But no one's explained the "twice as much" or "one-third" wasted numbers. And we all know Twain's theory on statistics. [Dont Know]

I think there's a morass of issues that need to be untangled and improved. Maybe simplier contracts when you buy your insurance would be a start so we'd know exactly what's covered and what's not. Maybe a nice database comparing how diseases are treated in different states with a total cost and success rate so you can see if your course of treatment is likely to work efficiently.

I'm not opposed to the mandatory insurance rule and no pre-existing conditions rule in general terms. I just think we're screwing people over if we start there. I think the first step needs to be improving the product or you're demanding that people destroy their budgets for something that may not do them any good anyway.

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The White Whale
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quote:
Originally posted by kanelock1:
I am not saying private insurance is perfect, but I will not vilify a company for doing what all of us are trying to do. Make money.

I'm going to go ahead and call you on this one. Profit is not the penultimate motive for everyone. Sure, I want money to buy food, pay my rent, maintain my car, save a little, and have a little fun, but I do not exploit others or justify all of my actions based on money. I have not chosen my career on the amount of money I'd make. I will not support actions that will prevent people from obtaining basic needs, especially when these needs are denied so that others can make a bigger profit. I give back to my community, because many, many people need a little help more than I need a little profit.
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fugu13
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I think you meant profit is not the ultimate motive [Wink] . Penultimate is the motive that comes just before the ultimate motive.

Also, I think you misinterpret. While profit is not everyone's ultimate motive, pretty much everyone is trying to make money, somehow, at least in limited quantity (and usually they'd prefer to make it in less limited quantity, and are willing to make at least moderate amounts of personal sacrifice in order to do so).

And, since health insurance company profit margins are pretty much normal for all sorts of businesses, it is a little hard to accuse them of being more out to make money.

Btw, I hope people know that, even if the bill going through Congress is passed in one of the current forms, and all the projected savings happen perfectly, insurance rates on anyone under 65 will be going up quite a bit. Right now insurance for older people is much more expensive; the bills in Congress generally require the ratio to be much more favorable to old people (which doesn't make sense. They are an easily identifiable more expensive to insure group; the way to handle those who cannot afford the more expensive insurance is subsidy. This approach is idiocy). The calculations are fairly simple, using the ratios and current expenditures by people at different ages.

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The White Whale
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Yes, that's what I meant. Didn't yet have my morning caffeine. [Big Grin]

And yes, I have no problem with people making money. I just don't like it when that becomes a goal that overwhelms the decision-making process.

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Darth_Mauve
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quote:
When your doctor has to call and get approval for a med that you need to survive, that's wrong.
Yes it is, and when they get put on hold by the insurance company, get put off by the insurance company, or get denied by the insurance company that is wrong. How can we fix it.

quote:
I think there's a morass of issues that need to be untangled and improved.
True.

And when the Democrats try to do this, they are shot down every single step they take.

For each step you suggest there are a large group of flag waving, tea bag tossing, rabble rousers claiming that this is a socialist plot to create death panels all to keep their profits from disappearing.


quote:
when a business of any kind has their costs go up, they either have to raise prices, lower quality,or cut back on employees.
Or has been stated before, they can cut their profits.

No company will cut their profits while other options such as raising fees or lowering quality are possible.

So we need to remove those possibilities the fairest way--with the market. That means not allowing monopolies or near monopolies of two or three health insurance companies in a given state.

And you can do that by providing a public option to compete.

Critics claim that such a public option would be unfair since they don't need to make a profit, so they will be much cheaper.

These same critics say that a government run health care will be much more expensive since the government is know for waste and poor service.

Seems to me they should go one way or the other. Either Government Run Health Care will be cheaper since it doesn't need to make a profit, or it will be more expensive and less of quality so that it won't be a dangerous competitor.

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dabbler
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I think cost conciousness can no longer be vilified in the health care industry. But I'm not talking cost cutting for profits' sake. I'm talking about eliminating tests and expensive medications that aren't evidence based. Think of the huge scandal with the breast cancer screening. The data supported their recommendations. They were good recommendations.

There needs to be more transparency on the physician's end. The cost for every test ordered in the hospital and the price for every prescribed med should be clearly shown. Most people to whom I tell the cost of a comprehensive toxicology screen are shocked (roughly $1000). The cost/benefit rarely favors ordering the test: will it improve the outcome sufficiently? Enough doctors will change their habits with the knowledge of the effects of their actions.

Another example of bad prescribing is the habit of ordering seroquel for insomnia. This is a very expensive brand name medication whose overt purpose is antipsychotic. It has significant side effects but the pharmaceutical company has been very effective in encouraging this irresponsible off label use.

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kanelock1
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Darth, There is another way to stop those same monopolies. Allow people to buy insurance across state lines.
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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by kanelock1:
Darth, There is another way to stop those same monopolies. Allow people to buy insurance across state lines.

If my choice is Cigna in Arizona or Cigna in Texas, how does that help me? And since I get insurance through my husband's employer, it isn't like as a consumer I actually have any choice in where I shop. Now, decoupling insurance and employment would be a useful step. After all, the people in most need of health insurance are sick people and children- the two groups that have the hardest time finding a good stable job.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
If my choice is Cigna in Arizona or Cigna in Texas, how does that help me? And since I get insurance through my husband's employer, it isn't like as a consumer I actually have any choice in where I shop. Now, decoupling insurance and employment would be a useful step.
It helps you because if you remove the barriers then you could choose between more insurance companies although the problem of being limited by your company would also need to be changed. Changing either one of those is not in the current health care proposals.

EDIT: Children are covered under CHIP so not having a job is not an issue

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Tresopax
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quote:
If you disagree with this assessment, then please explain why you think voters keep voting down the health care plan and everyone associated with it.
The health care plan has not appeared on any ballot. If the Massachussetts ballot had included a question that said "Public option or no public option" I strongly suspect that the public option would have gotten more votes in that state.

The Massachussetts Senate race is the only one that seems directly connected to health care in any way, and in that case the public option was already out of the bill before election day occurred. Therefore, I think its safe to say the voter anger was not because voters hate the idea of a public option, and much more because the voters hate that the Senate Democrats spent almost a year to create a bill that was so watered down and beaurocratic that it is hardly worth it. (Even Howard Dean was against the Sentate bill, and one definitely could not argue that this shows Howard Dean is against a public option.)

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Geraine
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I still don't get it. The only "study" I ever see on here for why we need to overhaul the system is "The US ranks lower in Health Care than countries with socialized medicine."

Could I get a little more information on this ranking? Who performs the study? Where are these people from? What are their feelings on the health care systems? Are they biased in any way?

Personally I am against it for the same reason I am against other entitlement programs. The more we give up our freedom and place that freedom in the control of the government, the less freedom we actually have. If we only rely on the government, they have all the power over us.

I'm pretty sure that our country was founded on personal responsibility and the government staying the hell out of our way.

Let's just all work for free and have the government take care of everything for us. If the government can run everything better, why not?

I understand the mistrust of health insurance companies, but can you honestly say you would trust the government more? One you can opt out of if you don't like the price, the other you are forced to pay through your paycheck.

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The White Whale
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
Let's just all work for free and have the government take care of everything for us. If the government can run everything better, why not?

Reductio ad absurdum

quote:
I understand the mistrust of health insurance companies, but can you honestly say you would trust the government more? One you can opt out of if you don't like the price, the other you are forced to pay through your paycheck.
I mistrust anything (or I guess "anyone") who is required by law to maximize the profits of its shareholders, especially when this maximization is at odds with my interests. In this case, I'd rather have some non-profit-maximizing entity make these decisions.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm pretty sure that our country was founded on personal responsibility and the government staying the hell out of our way.
You're pretty sure about that?
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natural_mystic
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quote:
I'm pretty sure that our country was founded on personal responsibility and the government staying the hell out of our way.
I'm guessing you're in the "CRA caused the Great Recession" camp?
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MattP
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quote:
Most people I know are satisfied with their health care, except the people,like my mother, who are on Medicaid and Medicare.
That may be the case for the people you know, but in national polling Medicare actually has a very high satisfaction rate - well above most private insurance, and it is much less expensive to run, with only about 2% or so in administrative costs - a fraction of what private insurance spends.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I'm pretty sure that our country was founded on personal responsibility and the government staying the hell out of our way.

Oh, really? Heh. I'd like to see the scholarly explanation of that one.

quote:
Let's just all work for free and have the government take care of everything for us. If the government can run everything better, why not?

I am sure you understand pretty well by now what a strawman is.
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Darth_Mauve
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Kane: The problem with removing state line boundries is the rush to the bottom that would happen. Each state sets its own guidelines and has its own set of examiners to make sure that the insurance companies are honest (there are historical reasons for this, as insurance is not to far removed from gambling).

So if we let people buy from whichever state they want, the control goes to the state that the insurance comes from, then which ever state has the most Insurance Friendly laws--lowest oversight, fewest regulators, least financial safety requirements, strongest laws against lawsuits for malpractice by the insurance company, etc, will be the state that all the insurance companies call home--and send their taxes to.

The result will be less stable, less reliable and less helpful insurance companies--that will be cheaper.

Germ: Here is another argument. The rates I pay for health care increase at 10 times the rate of the rest of the economy. It now costs me more money to buy insurance than it does to pay for my house, and that insurance has a large deductible and copays so that I can't afford to get sick.

The reason that I keep hearing NOT to fix health care is that it will increase taxes and that will slow down business. HEALTH COSTS ARE IDENTICAL TO TAX, except they don't go to the government. They do negatively effect every business in this country accept the Insurance Companies. As they continue to spiral upward they stop productivity, reduce employment, and eat up our savings.

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