published Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Health Care

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about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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mountainlaurel said...

Maybe it’s just the position, but that bat looks a lot Mitch McConnell to me.

February 6, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
frettfull said...

Almost. Make the container on the right 10 times the size of the one on the left (reform) side, and you have it. Good work, as usual!

February 6, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mountainlaurel noted, "Maybe it’s just the position, but that bat looks a lot Mitch McConnell to me."

You meant the one on the right, right ML?

Republicans are questioning the Constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of Obama's Health Care Reform. They think that 30 million Americans freeloading off the healthcare system and over crowding ERs is a God-given right.

Republicans also believe that the rest of us should pick up the tab for the uninsured through higher premiums.

If if that means we have to sell our homes and declare bankruptcy to pay our own medical bills they believe that's just a reasonable price to pay for the best medical care in the world if you don't count life expectancy and infant mortality and some other stuff.

In the words of a great statesman, the Republican Healthcare Plan goes something like this: Don't get sick, and if you get sick die quickly.

February 6, 2011 at 1:13 a.m.
acerigger said...

No wait,wait, it's "OBAMACARESOCIALIZEDMEDICINEOMGZ"!! Don't you people understand? It's a marxist-Islamist plot to take your guns and make your kids eat healthy food!!!

February 6, 2011 at 1:38 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"Republicans are questioning the Constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of Obama's Health Care Reform."

Two Federal Judges decided it to be unconstitutional(the most recent of which voided the entire package), and two others have ruled otherwise.

A plurality of states are fighting for relief.

Currently, the entire law is technically void. //The U.S. Constitution being a "technicality" of course.//

The executive administration has passed out hundreds of waivers exempting favored constituencies who supported the bill but who cannot continue current operations if they are subject to the law.

/Executive waivers for friends speaks volumes about the wisdom of the legislation./

I await the SC ruling.

It may define the future of our society.


Here's the real question as I see it.

Can our public servants in D.C. compel us to purchase X?

Let's make X something besides X=health care insurance, and see if we still buy the logic.

X=Wool socks(manufactured to fed.gov specifications), to avoid frostbitten toes.

X=SPF50 sunblock(manufactured to fed.gov specifications), to avoid skin cancer.

X=Christian Bible(manufactured to fed.gov specifications), to avoid lost souls.

Fed.gov has never exercised that sort of power before and there is no new insight into the founders' intentions which would invite us to cede that sort of power to the fed.gov.

If one would like the Federal Government to posses the power to compel every citizen to buy things one considers important, one will be needing an amendment to the Constitution granting the fed.gov those powers.

That's the sort of thing that the amendment process was intended to address.


It required a Constitutional amendment for fed.gov to FORCE us to NOT engage in the alcohol trade.

"You can't buy X."

Now we HAVE to buy what they say, otherwise that FORCE thing will be exercised.

"You MUST buy X."

I guess the Constitution has become as pliable as many folks' brains.

February 6, 2011 at 6:22 a.m.
hambone said...

Where is the GOP plan to fight rising health care cost?

Where is the GOP plan for 40+ million uninsured?

They say they have one.

Where is it?

Lets here it

NO! Is not a plan!

February 6, 2011 at 6:51 a.m.
woody said...

The only victim here is the guy in the middle. Too bad neither the "Right" or the "Left" are concerned about him.

They have their own agendas.

Sunday is Son Day, Woody

February 6, 2011 at 8:05 a.m.
frankfeeny said...

Scotty, correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't Republican plans to privatize Social Security require individuals to buy private investments like stocks and bonds?

February 6, 2011 at 8:53 a.m.
sd said...

Man, vampire bats get a bad rap.

February 6, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
acerigger said...

The decision not to buy health insurance is a profoundly economic one that has significant financial consequences for everyone else. When the uninsured fall ill or get into an accident, they go to the emergency room, where they run up medical bills they often cannot afford to pay without insurance. But someone pays: hospitals, local governments, and the American people -- who not only foot those bills as taxpayers but also end up paying higher premiums of their own because the uninsured have opted out of the national risk pool. Congress found that these uninsured costs totaled about $43 billion in 2008.

Such a cost figure makes clear that the individual responsibility provision falls squarely within Congress's authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause under Article 1, Section 8 including actions -- such as the decision not to buy health insurance -- that substantially affect interstate commerce.the decision not to buy health insurance is a profoundly economic one that has significant financial consequences for everyone else. When the uninsured fall ill or get into an accident, they go to the emergency room, where they run up medical bills they often cannot afford to pay without insurance. But someone pays: hospitals, local governments, and the American people -- who not only foot those bills as taxpayers but also end up paying higher premiums of their own because the uninsured have opted out of the national risk pool. Congress found that these uninsured costs totaled about $43 billion in 2008.

Such a cost figure makes clear that the individual responsibility provision falls squarely within Congress's authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause under Article 1, Section 8 including actions -- such as the decision not to buy health insurance -- that substantially affect interstate commerce.

February 6, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

"60% of Americans are overweight and almost 30% are considered obese..." (CDC)

"but you just can't legislate against Americans' God-given right to be irretrievable pigs." -U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson (who ruled against the bill)

Judge Vinson was correct on that point, but when does this become a national security issue?

"About 75 percent of the country's 17- to 24-year-olds are ineligible for military service, largely because they are poorly educated, overweight..." (NavyTimes)

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life..." — Dean Wormer, Faber College.

Go Steelers!!

February 6, 2011 at 9:13 a.m.
SBrauer said...

Clay, You mislabled your poles. Reform (Obama) is the one sucking the life out of us. My HMO just went up about 20% and my Longterm care went from $1250 to $1650 a year. So much for our leaders slick talk.

February 6, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Scotty and the rest of the conservatives gleefully support Republican hypocrisy on yet another issue. They reverse course yet again because President Obama had the 'socialistic' gall to agree with them.

The individual mandate provision of the health care reform bill was called at one time by Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation, "“the ultimate conservative plan."

This is nothing more than another partisan attack on a non-partisan issue, an effort to weaken Obama for political purposes while the best interests of the nation be damned.

Sam Stein, writing in the 'Daily Beast,' summed it up this way: "Though Republican lawmakers now vilify the individual mandate for health insurance coverage as unconstitutional, the provision has long roots in conservative health care philosophy," including President Richard Nixon.

Stein went on to say, "a surprising supporter of the individual mandate was George H.W. Bush. According to contemporaneous reporting, Bush used "the tax system to 'encourage and empower' individuals to buy health insurance and would enact insurance market reforms that make it possible for everyone -- even if they have pre-existing health problems -- to get insurance." In short: individuals would be mandated to buy catastrophic health insurance. The cost of that coverage would be tied to income, meaning that the poorer you were, the less expensive your policy would be."

Sound familiar? At the time Conservatives had apparently never heard of the Commerce Clause.

Mark Pauly, noted economist and Bush advisor summed it up this way: "We called this responsible national health insurance. There was a kind of an ethical and moral support for the notion that people shouldn’t be allowed to free-ride on the charity of fellow citizens.”

From DC Progress By Emma Sandoe:

"The policy was originally included in many Republican proposals... during the Clinton administration. The leading GOP alternative plan known as the 1994 Consumer Choice Health Security Act included the requirement to purchase insurance.

"More recently, the Heritage Foundation continued to support the proposal under the Massachusetts health care reform effort passed into law while Mitt Romney was governor."

"Constitutional law experts have largely debunked the questions raised by opponents to the individual mandate proposal... If there had been problems with the legality of the requirement, the argument would have been raised at one point in the last thirty years.”

Republicans give hypocrites a bad name. Look up the word 'hypocrite' in the dictionary and you'll likely find the GOP symbol. Why Obama still tries to deal with these sleazy evil people and political hacks should be beyond anyone's comprehension.

February 6, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

BW, The 30 Million people you refer to as freeloaders are working Americans that work for employers that provide no medical insurance benefit for their employees. Aren't you the same guy that thinks the rich should pay more in taxes?? How about every employer be mandated to pay for a healthcare plan equal to , lets say a public school teacher. These as you call them, freeloaders, do support ever American, and some who are not, that collect benefits through Medicade, Medicare, SCHIP, non profit hospitals and all government workers that have benefits provided for them at the taxpayers expense. They also pay for the Social Security benifits that they themselves will never collect. You impress me as a retired government employee who has lived off the taxpayers dime and now that there may be changes coming as to who will get what and how it will be paid for you show your true colors and scream, "THOSE NO GOOD STUPID REPUBLICANS!!!" I thought I read that you are not afilliated with either major party?? Why are you so concerned. Aren't you the guy that makes several hundred dollars an hour??? How about you and Warren Buffett put your money where your mouths are and fix this problem?? America will be eternally grateful. I know your a quality stand up guy so I wish to take this opportunity in advance to thank you for your generosity.

February 6, 2011 at 11:03 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mr. Fuss, with all due respect, you just went off on a rant about something I neither believe nor intended. This is what is said with emphasis added:

"REPUBLICANS are questioning the Constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of Obama's Health Care Reform. THEY think that 30 million Americans freeloading off the healthcare system and over crowding ERs is a God-given right."

I know the prohibitive costs of insurance. I know people who desperately need coverage but can't afford it. People with families. Some doctors refuse to see uninsured patients so those people delay treatment hoping and praying to get better on their own. Then they end up in ERs sicker that they need to be. Remember the adage, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?' Millions of Americans have to jam Emergency Rooms where they receive treatment by the ton and the rest of us pay for it through higher premiums.

I was trying to illustrate the ridiculous Republican position but fell short of clarity. I apologize for that. I agree with your major points, but my sarcasm is a little rusty. Never worked for the government, don't make a lot of money, but I have owned a few moderately successful businesses along the way.

February 6, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.
tderng said...

The main thing I have against this "mandated" buying of health insurance is that so many of the groups that are given waivers are supporters of President Obama. Whats up with that? If this is such a great idea why does everyone want a waiver? Why are they given mostly to groups that "support" this forced purchase? WHY ARE LEGISLATORS EXEMPT? If it is such a great thing I wonder why they aren't chomping at the bit to get on it also! It just seems to me to be a red herring. They want US to be forced to buy it but not them. I have to wonder why. As someone who spent my entire career in the medical field,I just don't see care improving if the money incentive isn't there.

February 6, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

So Mr. Blackwater, if what you say is true and this is a Republican Problem, please explain how we as Americans, not Dems or Repubs are going to provide for the 300 million citizens in a fair and responsible manner. The cost is out of hand. The cost to become a doctor is out of hand. People who were once common citizens such as ourselves, carried a bag to a house to deliver patient care. I remember it in the 60's. The doctor drove a car just like my parents, lived in a modest house and the cost for treatment never put my parents who had 6 children in financial jeopardy. Now it is something as simple as a single visit of no more than 1 hour to an ER that can find an individual in bankruptcy court. We give away the best health care to the people who are the true freeloaders while the working class that is lost in the mix not only carries part of the cost but receives no benefit at all. Most disturbing are the millions of retired citizens who have paid their entire life to fund something that has not materialized. The care and cost for retired individuals in this country is not close to the level of care the Medicade patients receive and the cost for seniors, many who cannot afford the price of care are left to fend for themselves. I don't think a person in their 60's ever thought a loaf of bread could cost $3.29. Gasoline could cost $3.00 a gallon or a car would exceed the cost they paid for their home. Who is responsible for the free spending for the poor and illegal in this country and how are we going to pay for it??? How will the semi educated students of today become employed and be able to continue to fund the cost of this system we so desperatly depend on???

February 6, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.
LibDem said...

This is somewhat off subject but I have a couple of questions. When I watch TV, I see numerous commercials for hospitals, clinics and pharmaceuticals. The questions are: 1. If the health care system is overloaded, why do they advertise for more business? 2. Doesn't advertising become a part of health care cost? 3. (Optional) Should the ad for the lawyer precede or follow the drug company ad?

February 6, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
tderng said...

LibDem: I can only speak for hospitals in Tennessee but the way Tenncare is structured the hospital receives a set amount per visit per patient. When a patient comes in with a relativity mild problem they get the set amount regardless of the cost of the treatment. This is supposed to offset the cost of those that come in with catastrophic illnesses. This means that if they can get more to come in with less costly
problems, they hope to make a profit. In the case of the for profit hospitals its for shareholders and updating their equipment,which isn't cheap. For non-profit hospitals it goes for mostly goes to upgrading their equipment and paying their employees more,often times,than their competition for the quality of personell they need to operate. The non-profit hospitals usually see the most serious trauma patients so their costs per patient are usually higher. This means they need the best trained and most motivated caretakers that they can afford.Thus more patients means more likelihood of being able to remain in business,even if this means longer waiting times in the E.R. The biggest cost for any business is salary,hospitals can't pay low salaries for staff who have peoples lives in their hands. Not if they want to hire the best! In most hospitals the main money making departments are the surgery and radiology departments. In some smaller hospitals these departments keep the hospitals open for business.Therefore they need to advertise to get as much of the business as they can.

February 6, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.

The only judges you'll find that will declare the mandate in Obamacare not unconstitutional are ones who are in bed with the Democrats or love the concept of bullying citizens around, like Clay Bennett and many on this forum, it seems. No honest person, with any knowledge of the Constitution, can believe the mandate is constitutional. This push for a mandate really does illustrate the profound lack of respect Democrats have for the U.S. Constitution, and for freedom. Thank God for the November 2nd election results.

February 6, 2011 at 1:55 p.m.
trburrows said...

great post scotty. I cannot understand why bw and a few others here just dont catch on or understand. I just shake my head at their logic or lack of.

February 6, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mr. Fuss asks lots of questions but he doesn't know the answers. That's okay. I don't know the answers either. It would be nice if legislators agreed to work together to fashion a plan that worked for everyone.

My post at 11:01 was a reminder that Republicans are NOT trying to solve anything. They are attacking the Individual Mandate provision - a position they supported publicly for years - to attack the President and score cheap political points. They call him a socialist for adopting a proposal the right wing Heritage Foundation once heralded as the quintessential Conservative plan. Amazing.

Since you seem so up to date on the issue, Mr. Fuss, why don't you enlighten the rest of us with your health care vision of the future. You certainly point out many of the problems.

I admit that my interests often drift toward international politics and events because domestic issues lately are often just ridiculous.

But anyway, Fuss, you asked my opinion so here goes, painting with a very broad brush:

I believe we have to take the profit out of health insurance and adopt George H.W. Bush's idea of a sliding premium scale based on income as a starting point to fashion a public option. Some Health Insurance companies will fold but the rest will have to compete with a Medicare style option that everybody pays into.

The plan will allow you to go to whatever doctor you want and the bill is sent in to one location for payment. No more insurance bureaucrats looking over a doctor's shoulder and denying care and treatment. The millions of dollars that are sucked out of the system by Insurance companies - who do nothing to make you better and often make you worse - goes into the health care system.

The Insurance companies that remain will have to be leaner and meaner and I believe the public will benefit. They won't have the excess millions of dollars which enable them today to buy and sell Congressman to protect their own profit driven interests.

Okay, the ball's in your court. Reading over your post's one could assume that you would not be opposed to a health care plan based on thinning the herd. That you would like to see sickness outlawed and violators should be executed. Maybe I read too much into what you wrote.

What did you mean?

February 6, 2011 at 3 p.m.
EaTn said...

The health care law is not an Obama reform of health care, any more than the Bush drug bill was a reform on drugs. Both of these laws were the result of special interest arm wrestling from both the Republicans, Democrats, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and health care providers. If anyone really thinks that anything more than a band-aid approach to health care will ever come out of Washington, they are just kidding themselves. The best we can hope for is that increasing medical costs and foreign competition will force employers, who are footing a major part of the insurance premiums, to demand more cost accountability.

February 6, 2011 at 3:01 p.m.
fairmon said...

So many experts, so few workable answers. Why does it have to be so complicated? 1-Would it be constitutional to have every U.S. citizen to enroll and pay a premium for medicare for coverage from womb to tomb. If you cannot afford it then it will be provided for you. You should also purchase a supplement to assist with expenses not covered by medicare. If you can't afford one then one will be provided for you.

Or, another concept:

o Congress define what is to be covered how in a basic health care policy. o Determine the nominal cost of that policy. o Include in each "consumer" purchase an amount sufficient to provide every man, woman and child an annual health care voucher to purchase a standard policy as constructed by congress. NOTE: Not a VAT tax but a for consumption or ownership purchase of goods or services. Income doesn't matter which means those with illegal, black market or for cash work money will pay their share. o No pre-existing conditions exclusions or cancellation unless a participant is involved in fraud. o No need for family single or family plus 1,2,3 etc.plans o Maintain the collected funds separate from the general fund and make an annual experience rated adjustment to move the fund to even plus anticipated increases. o No exemptions or exceptions regarding participation, including congress or other employment. o Prohibit negotiated provider rates, require a provider to charge every patient the same amount for the same services. o Providers can have rates different than other providers but not different for those procuring their services. o Coverage can be purchased from any approved insurer in the country without being limited to states. o TORT reform that provides reasonable recovery without run away juries attempting to make a point by providing family wealth for generations. o Federally regulate and eliminate the need for state regulators. o Provide as part of the regulations inspections and audits of providers to assure quality, qualification, competence and no price gouging due to limited availability of service. o Establish severe penalties for fraud or abuse by individuals or providers. o Allow the purchase of additional coverage for those that choose to do so.

Employers would no longer be involved in health care. The wealthy making major purchases and congress would scream so loud they could be heard internationally. Those with little or no income would pay a little when and if they made a purchase while the more wealthy would bear a greater burden when they bought their Mercedes and yachts or million dollar homes. Those significantly above median incomes would be less receptive, but they are a minority. Take your best shot at it.

Perhaps not perfect but in my opinion better than the porked up bill that I have read and find to be with good intent but typically made complicated by congress with a lot of special interest accommodation/exemptions.

February 6, 2011 at 3:05 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

I am providing a link to a site which attempts to describe the 'Necessary and Proper clause.'

http://law.onecle.com/constitution/article-1/49-necessary-and-proper-clause.html

Proponents of Obamacare cite this clause, opponents point to the 'Commerce Clause.'

It might be good to read up on this stuff before the Supreme Court overturns the Bill. After all, if they were willing to forgo precedence and install in the White House a candidate who may not have been elected President - as far as anyone knew for sure - what chance does the Health Care Reform Bill have?

On the other hand maybe the Supreme Court is like a baseball umpire. When an ump blows a call he often tries to even things out with a 'make up call.'

We'll see.

February 6, 2011 at 3:51 p.m.
steve_smith_tn said...

If the government were in charge, the bat would starve to death. The government isn't to good at keeping animals alive these days.

February 6, 2011 at 4 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Dear Mr. Blackwater, mandate or no mandate, I don't see people who already pay taxes to provide healthcare to the poor, the retired, the disabled and the children of middle class people along with every government employee being able to have any money left to insure themselves. Someone made the comment that business pays the majority of healthcare bills. Wrong. The TAXPAYER {Federal Government} does. Also these 30 million slackers as you like to refer to them as are hardworking Americans that get up and go everyday. We have many of these people who supported this American machine that no longer have a job to go to. What do we do with this group. Extend benefits forever? I suggested Obama missed a chance to go down in history by combining stimulus, unemployment and welfare funds and require that these people work to build American roads, bridges and energy programs for examples. Medical groups time and time again have been found to defraud government programs. Allowing doctors and durable goods suppliers to have free reign to refer patients to specialists sounds nice but once again we see doctors owning MRI equipment for example and all their patients suddenly are in need of an MRI. Perhaps if this is allowed we will all have breast implants. Damn, I'm feeling sexy already. The time has come to take the profit out of healthcare period. As we age we get an ache and pain. It's part of life. Having been in business myself and a Florida resident with all my customers being retired I came to realize they use the healthcare system and spend much of their week going from doctor to doctor more than any other group. They are suddenly on several different medications and find themselves in worse shape than when they started. They finally stop taking everything and return to proper health. This government supported health care is being exploited by the very people who claim to make us well. Are you getting any idea where I think the direction of healthcare should go, or are you going to expound on your brilliance and claim I have nothing to bring to the table. I understand your undying political affiliation. I don't understand how you as a sucessful intelligent American can possibly think the healthcare plan propossed by the current administration can be funded. We can't afford to maintain what we have now.

February 6, 2011 at 5:04 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

BW, One more thing. The last time I saw a baseball umpire blow a call and cost a pitcher a perfect game, he just apologized. No more!! There was nothing more to see!

February 6, 2011 at 5:22 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

BW Wrote

"Competition is the great equalizer. Require everyone to have insurance, provide a public medicare style option, and let the market place run its course.

The private insurance companies will have to reorganize and rededicate themselves to putting customers first. Competition works wonders with auto insurance.

Heck, it works well in all industries. Corporations, by nature, hate competition.

Some things may be more important than life but the health care crisis isn't one of them. It's a man made problem and there's a made man solution."

Competition does work wonders but not with insurance companies. Their losses are your premium payments. People who are not insured driving our roads are covered by the people who pay their premiums. Healthcare works in a complete opposite manner. The poorest people who cannot afford auto insurance, many of whom drive our roads illegally, are given the best health care called MEDICADE, free of charge with no co-pay or deductible provided by the working Americans, including the 30 million freeloaders as you call them. Government workers along with public school employees do not produce a profit. They are all on the cost end with no return except their rhetoric that their doing a great job. So perhaps Lazy, Drunk and Stupid is the new America. Username: whatsthefuss | On: February 6, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.

February 6, 2011 at 5:36 p.m.
EaTn said...

"We must demand that Obama be thrown out of office as soon as possible"

indian-- you lead and we'll all be right behind you (right after Palin says she's tired of politics and wants to go back to hunting and fishing in Alaska).

February 6, 2011 at 5:36 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

One more point to the thought that everything will work itself out. Remember, Alan Greenspan is a believer that the system will self correct. I am of the opinion that the opposite has occured. Ben Bernanke has some interesting ideas too. I am also not a follower of the great Bernanke. BW, enjoy your alligator sightings and warm weather.

February 6, 2011 at 5:42 p.m.
trburrows said...

fuss you are wasting your time, let him troll, its all he knows.

February 6, 2011 at 7:14 p.m.
fairmon said...

I am disappointed that no one blasted the option summarized in the 3:20pm post on 3/6. I'm not defending it just wondering what others thought? A large group in person applauded it and thought it was very doable. However, the consensus was that congress and the wealthy would never buy it, too simple and transparent. People in person are nicer and find ways to agree. A more objective reaction can occur with anonymous sources.

February 6, 2011 at 8:28 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Change labels: TAX PAYERS with the blood bag, TAX EATERS with the vampire bat.

Problem: the uninsured cost $43,000,000,000 per year, which is about $150 apiece from each of the 300,000,000 Americans. Solution: force us to buy insurance at, what, $3000 per year each? Does that add up?

Article 1 Section 8 gives Congress some quite specific powers: to regulate bankruptcy, set up post offices, regulate patents and copyrights, regulate the military and the militia, govern the District of Columbia and federal properties ("Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-yards and other needful Buildings"). I do not see that it gives Congress any specific authority over health care or health insurance, in contrast to bankruptcy and patents and private warships ("Letters of Marque and Reprisal"). A bolder judge might throw out Medicare and Medicaid along with the new individual mandate. Since Congress can regulate commerce among the several states, it can legalize interstate purchase of insurance.

Look, health starts with you and me (OK, familes have to feed babies). Health care brings in a doctor. Health insurance brings in a company. The simpler the laws, the easier to start a company if you think you can do better than the existing ones. Be free to make deals, but you gotta keep them.

I suspect the insurance laws are too complicated, and that the big insurance companies use the laws to discourage competition. Who's the vampire? Big companies protected by laws. Solution? Simplify the laws, so insurance companies have to work harder to win customers.

February 6, 2011 at 8:42 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

On 2/5/11 trburrows wrote, "bw i cant believe this but every thing you said i back 100 %. i dont see eye to eye with you, and you and i butt heads, but every word you say is right on. damn."

On 2/6/11 trburrows wrote, "fuss you are wasting your time, let him (bw) troll, its all he knows."

Just wondering, mr. burrows, if you've stumbled over any original thoughts lately.

Mr. Fuss added, "The last time I saw a baseball umpire blow a call and cost a pitcher a perfect game, he just apologized. No more!! There was nothing more to see!"

That was certainly one of the more notorious blown calls, but umps blow calls all the time. Almost every game. And it isn't just the close plays, the bang-bang calls that are tough to judge in real time but are plain to see in super slo-mo that drive fans nuts. It's the blatant missed-the-tag-by a foot, the pitch called a strike that bounces in the dirt, or the long fly ball that curves in front of the foul pole that is ruled a home run...can you tell baseball season is close? Spring training games are just a few weeks away.

Finally, baseball will return. The insuferably long, incredibly tedious game of baseball that can devour huge of chunks of your life without advancing more than an inch or two. Timeless, eternal, intriguing, infernal. The national waste time we can no sooner ignore than we can drive past a train wreck.

With the Super Bowl ending shortly, about the only thing left (besides the NFL draft and a successful CBA renegotion) between now and training camp is...baseball.

February 6, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.
alprova said...

Sizzle wrote: "No honest person, with any knowledge of the Constitution, can believe the mandate is constitutional. This push for a mandate really does illustrate the profound lack of respect Democrats have for the U.S. Constitution, and for freedom. Thank God for the November 2nd election results."


Permit me to address your Constitutional concerns with a couple of facts.

The Republicans were the first to call for mandatory purchasing of health insurance, beginning in the 1990's, and most people who are not burying their heads in the sand in complete denial, remember it all too well.

John McCain made it a part of his health care reform ideas while he was campaigning early on for President. It was even posted on his campaign website. Tommy Thompson, then Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, said and I quote, "Just like people are required to have car insurance, they could be required to have health insurance."

No one on the right batted an eyelid when Thompson said it, but when President Obama uttered the same line, you'd have thought he had peed on someone. The Republicans are highly hypocritical on that one, but then, what else is new?

Among the other Republicans who also has embraced the idea was Mitt Romney, who as Governor of Massachusetts crafted a huge reform by requiring almost all citizens to have health care coverage.

Now, if that's not enough to convince some of you that all this barking at the feet of Democrats about something being unconstitutional, is anything but, consider this;

In July of 1798, our legislature passed, and President John Adams signed into law, "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen."

The law mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance. The law created the Marine Hospital Service, a series of hospitals built and operated by the federal government to treat injured and ailing PRIVATELY EMPLOYED sailors.

This government provided healthcare service was paid for by a mandatory 1% tax on the maritime sailors pay, turned over to the government by the ship’s owner. The payment of this tax for health care was not optional. If a sailor wanted to work, he had to pay for insurance.

Thus, the law created the first Gov't mandated payroll tax deduction.

February 7, 2011 at 1:58 a.m.
alprova said...

Indian ranted: "The Health Care Bill was forced on the citizens that did not want it!!!Obama is doing as he pleases and if we don't stop him,he is going to destroy our country!Obama has already done things that are grounds for "IMPEACHMENT" and he should be Impeached!"


Ho hum...more pure stupidity from Indian.


"We must demand that Obama be thrown out of office as soon as possible!Egypt is showing us that numbers count and we can do the same as Egypt if we stand together!"


Not many people are with you on that one, and you might ought to be careful. Posting into a public forum a calling for a riot could land you in a little green room with gentlemen in suits for an extended period of time, to determine just how nuts you really are.


"Can you people NOT SEE what Obama has done and is doing against our country and it's citizens???"


Nope. You're out on that branch with all the other simple-minded idgets.


"WAKE UP!!!We are in serious trouble and it is going to get worst,if we don't STOP OBAMA and stand united!"


You know, they make medication that will take all your irrational fears from you.

If you can't afford that, then go buy you a roll of Reynold's Wrap and fashion yourself a tin-foil hat. Then I would suggest that you find a green field of grass with lots of cows in it, go sit in the middle of it, and adorn yourself with cow patties all day long.

You'll start feeling better before you know it.

February 7, 2011 at 2:23 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Alpo, There you go again with your name calling. If you think Indian is off kilter just say so. He is allowed to think and say whatever he likes. As to Republicans first coming up with mandatory paid healthcare for all Americans, perhaps it is true but REMEMBER, Hillary and John Edwards were on the same page during the primaries. Obama was the one who took the opposite view. See if this sounds like something you remember. "Hillary Clinton's attacking, but what's she not telling you about her health care plan? It forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don't," said one of his television ads .

His mailings made similar claims, which we rated Half True . At one campaign stop, Clinton waived the mailers and declared, "Shame on you, Barack Obama!"

"Meet me in Ohio," she added. "Let's have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign."

Lies and deception is what we are fed everyday. One could see why Indian is so upset. Perhaps we are the crazy ones!!! Think about that alpo before you start with your sandbox remarks. My last point about this bill, the exemptions granted to corporations requiring to provide healthcare to their employees is over 200 and climbing. The inclusion clause for people with pre-existing conditions only requires they write the policy. It dosen't control any cost and the company that writes this policy will make it so difficult to maintain this policy you will be forced to move to the next company only to be met with the same results. There is nothing in the bill to balance the cost of such care accross the board. This is not reform. It is the status quo with Corporate America and if you think otherwise you will be very disappointed once it is put in place. BW, do you watch baseball?? I see the last World Series Game. That does it for me. And last night, the Bourbon Wings, chips and dip along with the rest of that good stuff was the big draw for me. The game ended at half time for me when everyone started jumping up and down yelling and screaming. What a bunch of noise. It's amazing how much I sound like my father.

February 7, 2011 at 8:32 a.m.
BobMKE said...

There is one BIG thing that we all should agree on. The Health Care Bill was pushed through too fast. What was the hurry? (Anyone with any common sense knew that the Constitutional issue would be a big problem) Something this important takes time and it should have had a lot more input from experts from health care, economists, and less from the politicians. All of this could have been avoided if the politicians would have put our Country first instead of their party. It does not matter who's right but what's right. It is time to do it right.

It is a GREAT DAY here in Wisconsin because the PACKERS are SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS.

February 7, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
mymy said...

"Can you people NOT SEE what Obama has done and is doing against our country and it's citizens???"

There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them.

Many in TN want repeal of health-care reform law

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110207/NEWS07/102070342/Many-TN-want-repeal-health-care-reform-law

February 7, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

The right side should be labeled Obamacare. Everyone agrees that we would benefit from real reform. Obamacare is just a big wasteful government parasite.

February 7, 2011 at 11:55 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48 asked: “You meant the one on the right, right ML? Republicans are questioning the Constitutionality of the individual mandate provision.”

Yes, indeed, Blackwater48, I was referencing about that odd Mitch McConnell look-alike bat on the extreme right hanging in the upside down position.

As to Republicans, it seems to me they've been acting batty every since Obama was elected. They’ve truly become the “Party of No,” even when it involves their own ideas like this “mandate” issue.“ In the meantime, of course, important health related issues continue to be ignored:

“The nation's economic crisis has catapulted the number of Americans who lack enough food to the highest level since the government has been keeping track, according to a new federal report, which shows that nearly 50 million people -- including almost one child in four -- struggled last year to get enough to eat.

The magnitude of the increase in food shortages -- and, in some cases, outright hunger -- identified in the report startled even the nation's leading anti-poverty advocates, who have grown accustomed to longer lines lately at food banks and soup kitchens. The findings also intensify pressure on the White House to fulfill a pledge to stamp out childhood hunger made by President Obama, who called the report "unsettling."

The data show that dependable access to adequate food has especially deteriorated among families with children. In 2008, nearly 17 million children, or 22.5 percent, lived in households in which food at times was scarce -- 4 million children more than the year before. And the number of youngsters who sometimes were outright hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million.

Among Americans of all ages, more than 16 percent -- or 49 million people -- sometimes ran short of nutritious food, compared with about 12 percent the year before. The deterioration in access to food during 2008 among both children and adults far eclipses that of any other single year in the report's history.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111601598.html

February 7, 2011 at 2:02 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

ML, That was very informative and your point is??? That Mitch McConnell is responsible for this or the entire Republican party? That BW and yourself will unite and correct this problem?? If you think it's bad now give it another 2 years. You may find yourself becoming one of these statistics yourself. We all know your an Obama supporter and a Democrat but what does this have to do with Republicans. Sooner or later your going to have to come up for air!!!

February 7, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Mymy said: "Many in TN want repeal of health-care reform law"

Hmmm. . . Washington Post’s Jeffrey Smith was just speaking of Tennessee.

"A two-term Republican from a rural district in Tennessee, Rep. Phil Roe, became a magnet during the last election for more than $90,000 in contributions from medical professionals from across the country, including thousands of dollars from political action committees representing ear and foot doctors in October and November. . .

The funds weren't urgent: Roe's Democratic opponent did not report spending anything, and Roe's seat has been in the hands of the GOP for more than a century. . .

But the congressman, a physician who is now chairman of a House labor and health subcommittee, is considered a kindred soul by the medical industry, partly because he has twice introduced legislation to remove a provision in President Obama’s health care law that is meant to rein in the growth of Medicare payments."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/06/AR2011020603998.html

February 7, 2011 at 2:28 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Here is one more tidbit for the group of people who love to click no!! http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/fsalvato/2010/10082010.htm

February 7, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Just in case anyone missed this one and is wondering why our financial house isn't in order.

February 7, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
woody said...

Granted, my math teachers never could impress upon me just how "many" there were in a "Many," however, I believe it goes without saying, "Many" ain't really that "many", or as "many" as some might have you believe.

Many thanks, Woody

February 7, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.
trburrows said...

On 2/5/11 trburrows wrote, "bw i cant believe this but every thing you said i back 100 %. i dont see eye to eye with you, and you and i butt heads, but every word you say is right on. damn."

On 2/6/11 trburrows wrote, "fuss you are wasting your time, let him (bw) troll, its all he knows."

Just wondering, mr. burrows, if you've stumbled over any original thoughts lately.

bw if you could take one position and stop jumping back and forth i wouldn't be making two oposite statements. thank you for making my point. your very good at making other peoples points. just stick to the right or the left and we will be ok.

February 7, 2011 at 5:16 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

It is endlessly amusing to see so many from the right wringing their hands, and agreeing that our health care system needs reform. Unfortunately, while agreeing that the system is broke they offer no opinion or option to fix the system.

Of course this is understandable, as they have received no marching orders from their party or the talking heads at Faux News on how the Republican party would deal with the mess other than to oppose any attempt to reign in this unfair system.

Guess what, they don't want to offer any solution. They simply want to maintain the status quo which denies millions of people health care and bankrupts many people who incur catastrophic illnesses.

Looking for a way out of this mess? Ask the Republicans what that are offering to do or what they done the eight years they were in office.

The only major industrialized country in the world that does not cover their citizens health care? American Exceptionalism? You betcha.

February 7, 2011 at 5:20 p.m.
trburrows said...

hotd are you saying that we on this thread dont have a solution or the congress? congress has offered all kinds of options to health care, they just are no good, from both sides.

February 7, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.
Sailorman said...

ML

Are you referring to the IPAB?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/23/a-board-congress-should-nail/

If so, why don't you explain exactly how this will benefit patients. Apparently, 50 Democrats aren't enamored of it either.

February 7, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.
alprova said...

whatsthefuss wrote: "Alpo, There you go again with your name calling. If you think Indian is off kilter just say so. He is allowed to think and say whatever he likes."


As am I.


"As to Republicans first coming up with mandatory paid healthcare for all Americans, perhaps it is true but REMEMBER, Hillary and John Edwards were on the same page during the primaries. Obama was the one who took the opposite view. See if this sounds like something you remember."


Of course I remember, and PolitiFact outlined the flip-flop rather well, but who made it a rule that an elected official, even a President of the United States, is not allowed to change their minds?

It's not as if he was for mandated health insurance, then reversed his position and was against it while he ran for President, then reversed himself again and suddenly is now for it again. That would be worthy of all kinds of criticism. He changed his mind one time. So what?


"Lies and deception is what we are fed everyday. One could see why Indian is so upset. Perhaps we are the crazy ones!!! Think about that alpo before you start with your sandbox remarks."


Indian's a paranoid puppet, albeit an adult. He doesn't need you to take up for him. Remember, you are known by the company you keep, and who you put your arm around.

February 7, 2011 at 6:23 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

HOTDIGGITYDOG wrote,,

Guess what, they don't want to offer any solution. They simply want to maintain the status quo which denies millions of people health care and bankrupts many people who incur catastrophic illnesses

Dear Mr. Diggitydog, Catastrophic illness will never be covered by any plan until true reform is put in place. Go check lifetime limits of any current or proposed plan. Then get back to us on how wonderful this proposal is??? I want to thank you in advance for being a member of the party that is always right and everyone else is an idiot. You Rock!!

February 7, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Alpo, As I Am?? Yes a name calling bully you are. I will always take up for anyone who is attacked by such a bully. Even you if the rolls were reversed. I don't know Indian or if he is an adult or not. Where you get off is the question. As to you remembering, funny how you don't bring this to light during your "I hate Republicans" rhetoric. Nothing sensitive here. No HITTING A NERVE. Just an observation of how you, among some here are only out to prove how superior you are. Always part of the story. Never the whole truth. Obama didn't change his mind, he went counter to what was being proposed by both parties to gather votes. Some call it pandering, some call it lying, some refer to it as B.S. I find you to keep the company of the latter. I'll hang with a crazy person any day over a B.S.er. Burrows 5:16 comment is on the money with another poster. It reminds me of Oprah not being able to decide what size she wants to be!!

February 7, 2011 at 6:55 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Harp says things some may be interested in. It is from 2 toons ago and the last post. Some may wish to read it, some may not. Alprova

I was thinking about the Oklahoma city bombing, the uni-bomber and other home grown nuts that unfortunately didn't kill their self. How is that a conservative or liberal slant? You are right there were some nuts that blamed their craziness on their moral beliefs.

I don't buy the conservative or liberal party lines. I don't think we should be in either of the current wars. oil is the only reason we are in the middle east. They produce nothing else of significant value and have little else to offer.

I did see a Muslim cleric interviewed that confirmed the teaching and belief by some that 72 virgins would be the reward for marters for the cause. I know all people of any belief or faith don't fit neatly under any definition. I have read enough of Sharia law to know it is radical. Those supporting it may not represent the majority of Muslims however that does not reduce the danger of the radical element.

I have an Iranian friend that is a businessman in the U.S. with family in Iran. He would classify you as naive, not liberal. Yes, there was a recent event of a woman being buried up to her waist and stoned to death for adultery, it was reported on an Arabian TV network. Did all citizens and Muslims condone it? Certainly not just as many in this country don't agree with the death penalty for any crime.

What does Castro and Cuba have to do with anything discussed here? I haven't been to Cuba, don't care to go and could care less what happens there unless there is a threat to U.S. Security.

As a liberal do you think we should police and feed the world and create a dependent element of society in this country? As an accountant how do you reconcile the growing debt? How do we keep borrowing from China and compete with them? I am not an accountant but when the budget office reports 1.1 annual individual and corporate tax revenue with spending of 400 billion for acknowledged welfare programs which does not include alternative minimum tax refunds, 200 billion in government pensions and 700 billion for defense which totals 200 billion more than revenue. Then, there is the 200 billion annual debt interest and all other discretionary spending. It doesn't take an accounting degree to know that just won't work indefinitely. I am not a dem, a pub or tea'r in fact I have little regard for any of them and I don't think any of them will do much more than campaign and talk at length. So, no I don't conclude republicans are right and democrats wrong, I think both lie without hesitation and support or criticize opportunistically. Username: harp3339 | On: February 6, 2011 at 9:42 a.m.

February 7, 2011 at 7:50 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Sailorman asks about: TN's Phil Roe, Healthcare & IPAB

I don’t believe Republicans like Tennessee’s Rep. Phil Roe have any interest in the healthcare crisis in the U.S. If they did, they would be advocating a plan.

As to why Rep. Roe is screaming about IPAB, I think it’s rather obvious. He gets thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from medical professionals and political action committees.

This is the same industry that is oppose to the new affordable health plan, and the the same industry that operates these private Medicare Advantage programs, which cost as much as five times more than regular Medicare – much of it due to administrative overhead costs.

Overall, I think IPAB is a good thing - do we or do we know need to control costs. In addition, I also agree with David Himmelstein of Physicians for a National Health Program: "In most medical resources we have a surplus. People get large amounts of care that don't do them any good and might cause them harm while others don't get the necessary amount."

February 7, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

IPAB--a 15 member independent panel, to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate??? How does one suppose any panel can be independent when they are appointed by the powers to be. Lets call it what it is. The health Care Czar!! I SMELL SMOKE!!

February 7, 2011 at 8:33 p.m.
trburrows said...

fuss I agree with you on most but how do you feel about isolationism. block off the usa, no one comes in, no support for any country, bring all ships to our shores, all troops come home and guard our borders, no exports of our food, go back to the times when we need no import oil, feed our poor and to hell with all other countrys?

February 7, 2011 at 8:35 p.m.
trburrows said...

ml please do us all a favor and proof read your posts. your double words and know for now makes it hard to read. thanks

February 7, 2011 at 8:41 p.m.
Sailorman said...

ML

"Overall, I think IPAB is a good thing"

Uh huh

Now - how is it going to benefit patients?

February 7, 2011 at 8:49 p.m.
trburrows said...

sailorman what is ipab?

February 7, 2011 at 8:56 p.m.
Sailorman said...

IPAB

Independent Payment Advisory Board

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/23/a-board-congress-should-nail/

One of the various boards, panels etc established by the healthcare act.

February 7, 2011 at 9:13 p.m.
trburrows said...

thanks

February 7, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Sailorman said: "Un-Huh. How is it going to benefit patients? "

I can understand your “un-huh” in a way, Sailorman, but I think we need to remember that one of the goals of this legislation is to improve the delivery system, which will probably lead to some cost cutting in some areas, but, ultimately, I think patients will greatly benefit from this.

Ezra Klein has stayed on top of many of the issues involving this legislation and provides some good potential “delivery system” examples:

“Converting the health-care system to electronic records makes it much easier to track patient outcomes and then use that data to make the system more efficient, not to mention offer an infrastructure where providers can easily look up the most cost-effective treatments for different conditions.

Bundling care -- where a provider gets a lump sum to treat a diabetic for a year, as opposed to getting paid for every new thing they do to the diabetic -- will encourage more efficient care, as the hospital makes money when it doesn't overtreat, as opposed to when it does.

Accountable Care Organizations would act as sophisticated care managers for their patients, making more money when the patients get top-flight care and, in particular, care that's coordinated (There's a lot of money wasted because the hospital doesn't know what the ER did for a patient).

The hospitals that have the highest rate of infections and unnecessary readmittance will lose Medicare funding.

Then there's the hope of synergies: Health IT makes ACOs more effective, as it's a lot easier to share data and track outcomes.

The flood of new research on what treatments work best make it much easier to do bundled care payments, as providers have a much better idea of what will work and what's a waste of money.

The effort to record and punish high infection rates is backed up by the ACOs, which will be penalized for sending patients to providers who underperform.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board has the power to take experiments that are proving effective and quickly spread them through the Medicare system.”

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/01/will_the_medicare_cuts_in_heal.html

February 7, 2011 at 10:10 p.m.
alprova said...

whatsthefuss wrote: "Alpo, As I Am?? Yes a name calling bully you are."


You don't comprehend English very well, do you? I'm not about to enter into any debate with you, because you're a waste of time to deal with. You're just another troll.


"I will always take up for anyone who is attacked by such a bully. Even you if the rolls were reversed. I don't know Indian or if he is an adult or not. Where you get off is the question."


There's no question at all in my mind that you are mindless.


"As to you remembering, funny how you don't bring this to light during your "I hate Republicans" rhetoric. Nothing sensitive here. No HITTING A NERVE. Just an observation of how you, among some here are only out to prove how superior you are. Always part of the story. Never the whole truth."


Not that I could make sense out of half of what you wrote up there, the day that you prove that I have ever intentionally misrepresented the truth in the slightest, is the day I retire from this forum.

Am I superior? No. Am I careful in what I write? Absolutely.

Indian has never been careful or researched in what he writes, much like others who have dipped their toes into the sandbox and who have been called on the carpet for what they write. After at least a dozen attempts of him to offer the same STUPID, IGNORANT and IDIOTIC trash into this forum, I no longer feel the need to be polite to the man.


"Obama didn't change his mind, he went counter to what was being proposed by both parties to gather votes. Some call it pandering, some call it lying, some refer to it as B.S. I find you to keep the company of the latter."


Like all the other Nazi's running around this country, what you think of our President is of no consequence. He's going to be your President for the next 6 years.

What you think of me is of no consequence either. And anytime you think that you think you can prove me to be a "b.s.er" feel free to prove it. Better people than you have tried for years to do it.


"I'll hang with a crazy person any day over a B.S.er. Burrows 5:16 comment is on the money with another poster. It reminds me of Oprah not being able to decide what size she wants to be!!"


You Sir seemed to have at least a little intelligence. Those you are associating with all of a sudden and that you are now defending, don't have enough intelligence to fill a thimble. Perhaps you are not that smart after all.

Write what you want. It will hereafter be ignored completely. You just hit the troll list. Eventually, when people quit responding, you'll troll elsewhere.

February 7, 2011 at 10:21 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Username: whatsthefuss | On: February 7, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.

"Catastrophic illness will never be covered by any plan until true reform is put in place. Go check lifetime limits of any current or proposed plan. Then get back to us on how wonderful this proposal is???"

Lifetime limits? "current or proposed plan"? OK fussy. Perhaps you have heard of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Oh sorry, you probably call it Obamacare.

Maybe this site will better explain the PPACA. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/provisions/limits/limits.html

Make sure and read the parts of the Act on the left side of the page. Pretty interesting stuff.

Oh, and make sure you catch the part about.."Under the new law, lifetime limits on most benefits are prohibited in any health plan or insurance policy issued or renewed on or after September 23, 2010."

Oh, and maybe this will help.."The ban on lifetime dollar limits for most covered benefits applies to every health plan—whether you buy coverage for yourself or your family, or you receive coverage through your employer."

Whadda ya think? Pretty good deal, huh? Hey, if you have health care its even good for YOU. I'm sure they don't tout this on Faux News.

So is that "wonderful" or what. Oh, and my health care plan has already informed me that lifetime limits have been banned as of Jan. 1, 2011.

So what's your fuss about this benefit?

February 8, 2011 at 1:15 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

So since the Republicans have no plan for health care reform it appears they are happy with the status quo.

http://illuminate.newsvine.com/_news/2010/08/12/4872424-us-healthcare-rankings-not-good

http://healthpolicyandreform.nejm.org/?p=2610

American Exceptionalism? You betcha!

February 8, 2011 at 1:40 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mr. Burrows asked Mountainlaurel: "please do us all a favor and proof read your posts."

That's stunning advise from the author of this: "are you saying that we on this thread dont have a solution or the congress? congress has offered all kinds of options to health care, they just are no good, from both sides."

ML writes very well but if you find the occasional typo, well, do your best to move on. You may disagree with the content but the statements are clear and the points are well thought out. Also, you don't have to go back three or four times to figure out what the hell the ML is talking about.

For instance, please tell me what this means: "are you saying that we on this thread dont have a solution or the congress?"

Are you are saying that hidden in these posts there are solutions to the health care crisis - please tell me where - and that congress has a solution as well? Is that what you were trying to say? I don't know how else to read that.

But in the next sentence you say, "congress has offered all kinds of options to health care, they just are no good, from both sides."

Wow. You offer back-to-back contradictory sentences but then take it upon yourself to scold Mountainlaurel for not writing more clearly? You could have expanded a little on 'congress has offered all kinds of options,' and state why you believe those ideas are bad. Maybe give an example or two or three. Go ahead. Weigh in. Have an opinion. Give the rest of us something to snipe at.

You accused me of having a different opinion on the same topic but you never pointed out what I said that was hypocritical. I'm not saying I wasn't, but I like to know when I mess up. Maybe I read something that changed my mind.

You complain a lot. Most of your posts seem to be gripes about something someone said you didn't like. Kind of like this one but yours are shorter. Don't you have opinions about any of the topics we kick around?

February 8, 2011 at 2:24 a.m.
Sailorman said...

ML

Well I suppose that was an indirect answer. That's appropriate because the only benefit to the patient will be very indirect.

"The Independent Payment Advisory Board has the power to take experiments that are proving effective and quickly spread them through the Medicare system.”

What it has the power to due is arbitrarily cut reimbursements. Tell us how you'll like that when some bureaucrat in DC decides the $3,000 retinal injection you get to keep from going blind is too expensive.

As for the PNHP, depending on who you read, there are between 13,000 and 17,000 members. There are slightly less than 1,000,000 physicians in this country. The PNHP is a single issue, universal single payer health care, fringe group. Not a single doctor I know, and I know a bunch, would consider being a member.

What I see in comments above is the usual ideological claptrap that shows up when healthcare is discussed. The politicians threw out a few goodies, like preexisting conditions, and supporters rallied enthusiastically ignoring the 99% of the bill that does nothing for them.

A good reason the bill should be repealed is to stop the implementation of operations like the IPAB. The act is more about a jobs program for government employees than actually improving the health care situation.

The PPACA does nothing for affordability nor does it increase patient care (which is not the same thing as increasing the number of patients). It does a fine job of centralizing control in Washington.

"No" away! :)

February 8, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

Sailor, you seem to have a real problem with the idea of this nation providing a measure of health care to all its citizens. You speak out against it pretty vehemently.

I just have to wonder if you are happy with your health care. Do you have health care? Do you pay for it? Are you happy with your health care? Do you receive government subsidized health care benefits?

Perhaps we could better understand your opposition to the Affordable Care Act if you would share this with us.

Here, I'll go first. I have health care provided through my union and am pretty satisfied with it. I feel all Americans are entitled to quality health care.

February 8, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Alpo wrote,,

Permit me to address your Constitutional concerns with a couple of facts.

The Republicans were the first to call for mandatory purchasing of health insurance, beginning in the 1990's, and most people who are not burying their heads in the sand in complete denial, remember it all too well.

John McCain made it a part of his health care reform ideas while he was campaigning early on for President. It was even posted on his campaign website. Tommy Thompson, then Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, said and I quote, "Just like people are required to have car insurance, they could be required to have health insurance."

No one on the right batted an eyelid when Thompson said it, but when President Obama uttered the same line, you'd have thought he had peed on someone. The Republicans are highly hypocritical on that one, but then, what else is new?

So Alpo, where is the other side or the story here. Where do you state that both Hillary and Edwards were also for mandatory health care while Obama insisted he would never do such a thing because he thought it would buy him votes??? And he was right, it did. Sure, now that he is elected he can say whatever he likes, but you feel a man can do and say whatever he wants without any consequence. You like to go on with your hate spewing rhetoric of the Republican party and call people hypocrites, among other things, but here you are again following the same behavior you so detest. Once again you feel your the baromoter of intelligence. I think otherwise. But of course I could never be as smart as you!!!

February 8, 2011 at 9:08 a.m.
fairmon said...

I am disappointed no one ripped apart or even commented on "or another option" posted on 2/6 at 3:05 p.m. I had hoped to have the flaws pointed out or even an irate reaction. However, with all the knowledge here not one comment. I must be not in left field but beyond left field with that concept.

February 8, 2011 at 9:20 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Hey HottDiggity, When you read what is written in the link you provided you discover that you as a union employee have the best protection of anyone having health insurance. People who will be forced to purchase a policy outside of their employment face a much different set of laws and they all go back to illness and cost. Below is the dollar limit section you posted. After that go and read the "Children With Pre-Existing Conditions" section. Also note that they stop being children at age 19. So college students with illness will face a difficult decision. Get educated and somehow find a way to pay or go to work and pray they find a job like yours with a union behind them. Then please find anything that will allow this 19 year old child an affordable plan without limits in the open market. The cost of the plan will be priced according to the illness and as it states below, the limits will be adjusted according to the cost. It all sounds very nice what has become law but it's a train wreck for anyone who is ill or suffers from a cronic disease that requires care and drugs to maintain their life. I am happy to hear you have very good insurance and wish you a long, happy, healthy life. The rest of the Americans who will be forced into this law are not going to be afforded anything near what you are being provided in quality or cost. Thanks for the pep talk though. Somehow it didn't make me feel any better. Some Important Details

•Be aware that plans can put an annual dollar limit and a lifetime dollar limit on spending for health care services that are not “essential.” •If the new rules apply to your plan, they will affect you as soon as you begin a new plan year or policy year on or after September 23, 2010. (For example, if your policy has a calendar plan year, the new rules would apply to your coverage beginning January 1, 2011). •If you have a “grandfathered” individual health insurance policy, your health plan is not required to follow the new rules on annual limits. (A grandfathered individual health insurance policy is a plan that you bought for yourself or your family; that you did not receive through your employer; and that was issued on or before March 23, 2010). If you’re not sure whether your plan is grandfathered, ask your insurance company. •The ban on lifetime dollar limits for most covered benefits applies to every health plan—whether you buy coverage for yourself or your family, or you receive coverage through your employer. •Some plans may be eligible for a waiver from the rules concerning annual dollar limits, if complying with the limit would mean a significant decrease in your benefits coverage or a significant increase in your premiums.

February 8, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Harp, you went 0 for 3 on that one. You have polked and prodded and the "I Don't Like It" button pushers have decided it is not their cup of tea. Loosly translated that means it contained a tad to much common sense and you didn't think that would fly around here, now did you??

February 8, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

HotDiggity wrote,

Whadda ya think? Pretty good deal, huh? Hey, if you have health care its even good for YOU. I'm sure they don't tout this on Faux News.

So is that "wonderful" or what. Oh, and my health care plan has already informed me that lifetime limits have been banned as of Jan. 1, 2011.

So what's your fuss about this benefit?

Mr. Diggity, what I think is that you didn't read it. You just read what your insurace company sent you and forgot about anyone but yourself. That sir is the fuss. Anyone interested about Mr. Dogs link please read it for yourself. It's all their in black and white with a lot of exceptions. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/provisions/limits/limits.html

February 8, 2011 at 10 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

Tsk tsk fussy. I am well aware of the exceptions, which are minimal.

Your original comment was "Catastrophic illness will never be covered by any plan..." On: February 7, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.

This plan is an overwhelming benefit for Americans with minimal exceptions. Hey, it probably even benefits you.

Care to share what type of health care you have and then we can see if you benefit.

Looking forward to your reply.

February 8, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Diggity, I am healthy as a hoarse. My concern is not for myself but for one of my children who is diabetic. If he does somehow land a lifetime union job my concern will be somewhat put at ease for him, but I still am very aware that people with illness will be pushed to the edge of poverty paying for their medical needs. You make it sound like everyone will be paying the same and the benefits will be endless. Funny, thats how Obama makes it sound too. It's not the case and unfortunatly with this new law we are doing nothing to help people who are ill. Just allowing them to buy something on the open market that they cannot and have not been able to afford. I get a kick out of your with minimal exceptions statement. It shows great concern and compassion for your fellow man. These have always been the "MINIMAL EXCEPTIONS." They happen to cost a great deal of money over a lifetime. So the government threw this out there making it sound like reform when it is only the same game, they are just changing some of the players. Perhaps you have never had to deal with pre-authorazations every one to six months from an insurance company. Their changing medications that they claim are the same that are not and cause health issues for months until the body finally adjusts. I never had to deal with any of this until 7 years ago. Go back and read harps post. A little common sense goes a long way. A quick analysis of my families health care situation since your so concerned. Right now everything is fine and it is of great benefit. When our one son turns 19 the game changes. Benefit, Not so much. I hope this helps you with your concern for my families health. I'm touched by your sincere concern for others.

February 8, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
Sailorman said...

hotdiggity

"Sailor, you seem to have a real problem with the idea of this nation providing a measure of health care to all its citizens."

You came to that conclusion how? Not surprisingly, you fail to understand the bill. Or you just see what you want to see. Let me try to clear it up for you.

  1. I am NOT against providing health care for our citizens. I have NEVER said otherwise.

  2. I believe a universal care at some basic level, single payer system is in our future and am not necessarily opposed to that. The devil, as always, will be in the details.

  3. I am vehemently against this bill. a) It does NOTHING to bring down the cost of health CARE. b) The mandate does nothing but increase the amount of money available to pay for an outrageously expensive system. Rather, it did until waivers started being handed out c) It creates another unwieldy, and ultimately, ineffective and expensive, huge bureaucracy. d) It addressed neither the "doc fix" nor the effect on state medicaid plans. How would you like to run a business with the threat of a 20% reduction in revenue hanging over your head? e) It did NOTHING to enhance competition at any level in the health care stream.

  4. The insurance companies certainly play a role but it is not all their fault. The regulatory system that is supposed to provide the oversight is woefully inadequate, biased, and creates more expense. For those who think the insurance industry didn't have a hand in writing this bill, why do you think they're so upset about the waivers?

  5. The only people who like Medicare are the patients. For the providers it is an ever worsening expensive morass of conflicting rules, regulations, and never ending audits. This bill does nothing but make a bad situation worse.

Congress had a huge opportunity to actually accomplish something. Instead, it degenerated into the usual ideological papfest. They blew it.

Did that help? And, yes, I have insurance through my employer - for now.

oh btw, referring to "Faux news" makes you sound as silly as whining about Obamacare.

February 8, 2011 at 10:58 a.m.
alprova said...

whatsthefuss wrote: "So Alpo, where is the other side or the story here. Where do you state that both Hillary and Edwards were also for mandatory health care while Obama insisted he would never do such a thing because he thought it would buy him votes??? And he was right, it did."


Like I said...you simply do not read nor comprehend what you read, if you read it at all.

You've never amended one of your own opinions in your lifetime? I know doggone well that I have after reconsideration.

You assume he was 'against' mandated coverage to 'buy' votes. As you know, it's a very controversial proposition. And Republicans have worked to make it even more controversial, because a Democrat adopted it.

"How Dare he do it. That was OUR idea," most of them utter under their breath.


"Sure, now that he is elected he can say whatever he likes, but you feel a man can do and say whatever he wants without any consequence."


Oh please. If we were discussing a Republican or a white man, this would not even be an issue. You're an Obama basher, either because he is a Democrat or because he's black. You're as transparent as Scotch Tape.


"You like to go on with your hate spewing rhetoric of the Republican party and call people hypocrites, among other things, but here you are again following the same behavior you so detest."


Hardly. The Republicans first proposed the idea of mandated health care coverage, then when it was not exactly received with open arms, they let it simmer on the back burner.

When Obama stood in front of the nation and revived it, all of a sudden every Republican decided that it was unconstitutional. Now THAT'S hypocrisy at it's finest.

Republicans used to be so big on self-responsibility. They have all but abandoned that in favor of flat out refusing to work to solve issues. They've picked up on the fact that people are worried about deficit spending, and the only thing now on the table is to cut spending...period.

No solutions. No proposals other than cuts. Health care? The overwhelming consensus is, "We can't afford it at any price. You're on your own."

If you ask me, the annihilation of a good part of the human race has been a target of the Republicans for three decades.

They have demonstrated time and again that the poor, the elderly, and the disabled are of no concern to them at all.

But they sure like babies and will go to any length to see to it that they are downloaded from the womb. After that, they are on their own however.


"Once again you feel your the baromoter of intelligence. I think otherwise. But of course I could never be as smart as you!!!"


You gauge someone's intelligence as anyone who agrees with your points of view.

I gauge intelligence as someone being able to cognitively being able to put their point across in a legible sentence or paragraph. Oh...and it doesn't hurt if they provide just a little sanity in their posts.

February 8, 2011 at 12:07 p.m.
alprova said...

To put a wrap on all of this, no health care proposal on Earth will ever work without regulating what health care providers can charge any and all patients.

Insurers do what they can, but they keep reverting to this silly notion that there are "usual and customary" amounts that are assessed for health care.

A popular Physician who is charging you $125 - $225 per visit, who usually spends five to ten minutes to treat you, is most likely making $1,500 - $2,700 an hour. A Surgeon can make $7,500 an hour or more easily in a larger city. An hour in any Emergency Room can easily cost you $5,000. A pill to ease your pain or remedy a malady can cost a few cents to hundreds of dollars.

The biggest problem in this nation is that Americans who have had insurance for most of their lives could not care less what the tab is, as long as they personally pay next to nothing towards it. If insurance companies pay it, so be it.

With more and more people losing employer provided health insurance coverage by the day, people are now only remotely becoming cognitive of the actual costs of health care coverage, as well as the prices that providers have been charging for treatment.

Until the prices that providers charge, are slashed extensively to a point that is REASONABLE and JUSTIFIED, hope for meaningful reform is not possible.

Our system of health care is the end result of free market forces that do not work, at least for a large minority of people. You begin with the cost of medical school and work your way down. It has become a system of price fixing and collusion.

If you went to the grocery store and discovered that milk was $500 a gallon, or that a loaf of bread was about the same price, you'd buy a cow and learn to make your own bread. In a truly free market, the availability of other options works to keep prices in check.

While there are many health care providers, everyone seems to be quite saturated with patients or customers, with no actual competitive forces being a part of the equation.

It's time to eliminate the middle man. Insurers have had their chance to reform health care costs. They have failed miserably.

It's time to force hospitals and Physicians to post their prices on the walls for all to see. It's time for all providers to be known up-front and to be 100% accountable for their costs and charges.

No more padding the prices for those who do pay and deducting 100% losses on paper from what is owed the IRS. In no other line of business, would this occur or be tolerated.

It's not just those who cannot currently afford medical care, who should be behind meaningful reform.

We all should be for it.

February 8, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.
Sailorman said...

Al

What we should all be for is knowing what the h$ll we're talking about before tossing out simplistic rants.

"A popular Physician who is charging you $125 - $225 per visit, who usually spends five to ten minutes to treat you, is most likely making $1,500 - $2,700 an hour. A Surgeon can make $7,500 an hour or more easily in a larger city"

Good grief - you're an accountant and ought to know better. You of all people should understand the difference between cost control and price control.

Here's a simple article you should be able to follow:

http://www.ethicalhealthpartnerships.org/doctorfees.html

Any one of our nine surgeons would laugh in your face - they wish they made that much!

You want to know what we charge? Find out what the code is for the procedure and then find out what medicare will pay - that's the charge. Our costs have very little to do with it.

February 8, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Alpo, You Sir Are A Genius!!

February 8, 2011 at 3:26 p.m.
trburrows said...

That's stunning advise from the author of this: "are you saying that we on this thread dont have a solution or the congress? congress has offered all kinds of options to health care, they just are no good, from both sides." bw this is not a statement, its a question. please do not respond, you are so ignorant that i will not respond to you again. thanks

February 8, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
fairmon said...

Read THE BILL. It is one heck of a hard read but it is not what either party portrays. The dems emphasize the good points and there are some. The pubs emphasize the weak points and potential cost which is a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) at best. Neither talk about where we will all step on a duck because they are lobbyist or special interest groups compromised at tax payers expense. You won't believe the increased taxes we will all pay but a little common sense says some additional taxes are necessary if 40 million under or uninsured have coverage with over 20 million not being able to pay anything for it.

I don't think the majority of Americans object to everyone having health care and making a reasonable contribution to provide it. The problem is the costly complications, exemptions and favoritism our political system resulted in.

Competition will work in the health care field if quality of care is heavily regulated. Reduced paper work and easy to understand insurance policies and reasonable TORT reform will reduce cost. Cost collusion is illegal but providers participate in such by being a member of a large group of providers. Providers should be required to charge each patient the same for the same service without setting prices practice wide. Check out the local anesthetist group for an example.

Negotiated HMO, PPO and medicare rates are a major problem. They result in higher cost for care for those with private policies than those on medicare and employer paid coverage. The large pool to leverage gets big employers, medicaid, HMOs and PPOs the lower rates for care and shifts cost to those not able to afford coverage or with individual policies.

February 8, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Sailor, I agree their are several things in the act that I am not enamored of. I also agree that some of it is tilted toward enriching the insurance companies. (A good book that covers this is "Griftopia" by Matt Taibbi.) He too is not completely happy with what he perceives as giveaways to big insurance.

That being said I am sure you would agree that the only way this act would have passed was giving concessions to the politicians who are under the thumb of the insurers. Of course it did not help that no Republicans would have supported it regardless of what was in the bill.

I am heartened that you said at 10:58 a.m. that you "believe a universal care at some basic level, single payer system is in our future and am not necessarily opposed to that." But then On: February 8, 2011 at 7:36 a.m. you rail against the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which is a group that explicitly supports a single payer system.

Your words...February 8 at 7:36 a.m "As for the PNHP, depending on who you read, there are between 13,000 and 17,000 members. There are slightly less than 1,000,000 physicians in this country. The PNHP is a single issue, universal single payer health care, fringe group. Not a single doctor I know, and I know a bunch, would consider being a member."

So do you support single payer or not? You seem to contradict yourself on this.

Perhaps this page at the PNHP site would be helpful. This is a common sense approach to streamlining the system along the lines of our Medicare system.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/january/selling-the-obama-plan-mistakes-misunderstandings-and-other-misdemeanors

February 8, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

whatsthefuss, regarding your post On: February 8, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.

You say "My concern is not for myself but for one of my children who is diabetic." -"Perhaps you have never had to deal with pre-authorazations every one to six months from an insurance company." -"When our one son turns 19 the game changes."

Thanks for sharing this. So it appears that not only are you unhappy with the PPACA you appear to be unhappy with the status quo regarding health care before the PPACA.

Looking back at your posts on February 6 at 11:03 a.m. you support a mandated employer contribution for health care, so apparently you are not against a form of mandated health insurance. Agree? As a union employee, I agree, although going forward I think the only workable plan is a single payer system along the lines of Medicare.

A single pay system would seem to solve your complaints listed above. Do away with your complaints regarding PPACA, the premiums you pay, and provide security to yourself and your son.

My major complaint with PPACA is the give aways to the insurance companies. Unfortunately, this act would not have passed without a sop to the greedy insurance companies. Conservative Democrats would not have gone along with it and no Republicans supported it. Still, there are many benefits in the bill and is a first step towards granting better health care opportunities to all.

There are many sites that explain the single payer system. This site gives a good explanation of single payer and its benefits. http://www.pnhp.org

The FAQ section is informative. http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq#buy_healthcare

If people truly care about health care for their fellow citizens, cutting waste, and streamlining the system, this is the only way that makes sense.

February 8, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.
Sailorman said...

HD

Don't go all giddy on me

Sure the only way it passed is via concessions handed out like halloween candy - I would have been happier had it not passed.

No contradiction at all. I said I believe single payer is in our future and am NOT NECESSARILY opposed. We're going to be forced in that direction like it or not. If that happens, better to do everything possible to ensure a fair and workable system. I would prefer by far we skin the universal care cat some other way. A single payer is too much power concentrated in one place.

As for the PNHP - simply because I believe a single payer system MAY be workable, don't think it implies I believe the PNHP version is a good one. There's a reason they only have a minuscule percentage of the doctors.

Did you miss my comments on medicare? "streamlining the system along the lines of our Medicare system" would be a disaster. To call it "streamlining" is an abuse of the language.

February 8, 2011 at 10:45 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48 said: "if you find the occasional typo, well, do your best to move on."

Thanks, Blackwater48. I greatly appreciate the kind words.

February 9, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Diggity, What I'm unhappy with is much more complex than your "I'm ok so whats your beef?" The insurance companies make just maintaining the health of a person who depends on drugs for survival a constant battle. It has to do with the cost. Your childish "Oh you agree with me" BS is as abrasive as the insurance company changing the rules every time they feel like it. If you didn't get a big FU feel from my last post your thick. If you did, Perhaps a big cup of shut the f up is in your future. Go suck on it!! Do you have health issues with yourself or your family?? If you don't you don't know what a complaint is. It will affect everyone sooner or later. For some, unfortunatly it is a life long battle. Oh, since you like to get in everyone elses business, what union do you belong to?

February 9, 2011 at 4:34 p.m.
potcat said...

Good God i hate im late to table on this one but i am just learning the ins and outs of web sites, typing the whole computer monster.Dont misstake this as being uninformed. I assure you I am not. The Health care Bill was Wrote by THE INSURANCE COMPANIES. We are screwed! It should had been a Universal takeover by the Goverment to regulate operate because its thr right thing to do and a civil rights issue. Its what Jesus would do.Watch the movie THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. One of my favorites.

February 11, 2011 at 3:25 p.m.
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