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Jan. 3 2010 - 5:44 pm | 21,248 views | 7 recommendations | 50 comments

Rush Limbaugh accidentally endorses Obamacare

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 13: Radio talk show host ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

When word came that Rush Limbaugh had been spirited off to the hospital with chest pains, I had to think for a moment about how I felt about his misfortune. It didn’t take long to realize that I was actually experiencing some concern for his health and hoped he would be all right.

Whether it was the holiday season, a suspicion that he might have a relative somewhere who could actually care about him or just the simpatico experienced by one who has been there for another whom might have to share the unpleasant experience, I just couldn’t wish the guy ill.

The warm and fuzzies didn’t last long.

Released from the hospital with a clean bill of health, Rush instantly took the opportunity to take a shot at the effort to reform the health care system while effusively praising the Hawaiian hospital that had taken such good care of him.

I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system. I got no special treatment other than what anybody else that would have called 911 and had been brought in with the same kinds of symptoms.
Via USA Today

Now, I suspect old Rush has a pretty good health insurance policy, even if he does smoke cigars like a chimney and carry around about 100 extra pounds. So I wondered if Limbaugh could bring himself to give some thought as to how it might have gone for someone who was not so fortunate as to have quality health insurance coverage.

Then, it hit me. Limbaugh was actually right. He was telling the truth when he said he did not receive special treatment because, since 1974 when mandated health insurance was instituted in Hawaii, pretty much everyone in Hawaii has the same health care access afforded to Rush.

It turns out that Limbaugh has not been keeping up with his current events. If he was, he might have known he was lavishing praise on the most socialistic medical system in the United States.

Not only is Hawaii the closest thing to a socialist health care system in the nation, it was actually the model for the Clinton Administration’s failed effort to institute universal health coverage back in the early 1990’s. Despite the fact that the state has the highest costs in the country for just about everything – due to the necessity of shipping everything to the islands from the mainland- Hawaiian comprehensive health insurance comes with some of the smallest co-pays and premium charges in the country.  What’s more, the costs per Medicare beneficiary is the lowest in the United States.

Oops.

With everyone covered by primary care, emergency room visits tend to be for real emergencies, not the non-emergent care mainland ERs dispense for people without coverage. That reduces the costs of ERs and the costs of non-emergent medicine since patients can be handled less expensively and more effectively by their primary doctors. Hospitals have not overbuilt, acquiring expensive machines to compete with their neighbors for patients. Insurance companies have instituted screening and other measures to improve wellness among their covered populations.
Via Fox4 TV Kansas City

And yet, there was Limbaugh standing before the cameras extolling the virtues of his Hawaiian health care. No complaints about long waiting times to see a doctor. No complaints about slow emergency room care. No complaints about waiting lists to receive important tests. No complaints about aged or inadequate technology.

Quite the contrary. It seems that, from Limbaugh’s point of view, the socialistic Hawaiian medical system, in practice now for over three decades, was as good as it gets.

This is not something that we can afford to allow Limbaugh to forget just as we cannot allow Rush to get away with not speaking to this massive change of heart (no transplant required.)

Let’s make the old blowhard cop to this. And should Limbaugh’s conversion to a socialistic system of medical care causes his clogged arteries to really explode – tough luck. Holidays are over and I’m willing to risk it.

Besides, to have a heart attack you actually have to have a heart. I’d say that puts Rush in the decidedly low risk category.


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  1. collapse expand

    Great find, Rick- Hope he is asked to explain

  2. collapse expand

    apparently, the hotel workers (first responders) are union workers. the nurses who cared for him are union workers.

    (all links to the above info here:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/2/821229/-Limbaugh-in-Hawai%60ia-view-*from*-Hawai%60i )

    that ought to make his head explode!

  3. collapse expand

    WE ARE ALL PRINCIPALS INSOFAR AS WHAT WILL BE THE OUTCOME OF THE HEALTH REFORM DEBATE.

    NONETHELESS, THE FOLLOWING IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

    IT IS TO BE TAKEN AS POSSIBLE REASON TO CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR ANY CAUSE(S) OF ACTION THAT MAY / MAY NOT LIE.

    Hawaii’s mandatory participation is welcome precedent but admittedly not tonight known by me whether tested in the highest forum.

    Of course, once exclusions (the shell game) are prohibited, mandatory participation has to occur; otherwise, one could skip buying premiums until he/she is seriously ill.

    Earlier Rivkin and Casey argued, in addition to the issue of mandatory participation, as to a lack of stipulated power, short of the Interstate Commerce Clause. EverNewEcoN speculated that a health insurance cartel accepting premiums but systematically angling to avoid taking on the risk of those likely to get sick does in fact involve interstate commerce.

    It’s remarkable that President Obama is former Constitutional Law Professor at the University of Chicago.

    possible workaround: No Medicare participation to be available absent participation in the new program. EXCEPT: uncovered costs that go unreimbursed typically are avoidably oversized (the emergency room is the clinical entry point;) and, they’ll get shifted to you and me anyway (cost shifting works by way of bandages charged several hundred percent above cost and built into paying insureds’ premiums.)

    If the constitutional challengers don’t get with the program (the health insurance cartel in fact WANTS the taxpayer to pay the premiums of those formerly covered who’ve lost their jobs and their coverage, and doctors also won’t get paid absent someone footing their bill.)

    So, some possibilities:

    So the challenge might go unprosecuted.

    An amendment could be established before ObamaCare is scheduled by its terms to go into effect.

    The nuclear option: repeal the health insurance cartel’s immunity to enforcement of the antitrust laws.

    And perhaps: some class action firms would consider launching cases as to fraud as regards how a handful of companies simultaneously systematically isolate clusters of covered’s for the sake to separating their policies out from those that are marketed so as to institute premium death spirals, where their computers indicate that those groupings present a greater threat of having to pay for sick people.

    EverNewEcoN

    http://sites.google.com/site/evernewecon

    • collapse expand

      Any chance you might want to comment without the drama? Since nobody has a clue who you are (I don’t think “evernewecon” is a legal name or advertisement on behalf of an attorney) I think you can skip the whole warning at the front and just say what’s on your mind. By the way – are you an attorney? Based on what you appear to be saying, i think not as you’ve skipped the whole state regulation of insurance companies thing.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    art of proofreading?
    (1: don’t submit tired after 9 pm)

    simply change

    “So, some possibilities:”

    to

    “Then, some possibilities:”

  5. collapse expand

    This despicable piece of ordure will see no contradiction at all in continuing to try to undermine Obama and the government while acknowledging that he got good health care. His view would be that any health care system anywhere in the world would put itself out for the likes of him, because he is intrinsically worth saving. Regrettably, there are others who agree. He and Palin ought to get together and develop a plan to privatize the Hawaiian health care system. With intellects like theirs on the case the results would be stupendous.

  6. collapse expand

    The world is luffing at the health care reform; what of you? Are you ready to let the people go on and endorse this so called health reform. Think it through, what if life gets to a point were competition isn’t allowed anymore, as this “care” system would lower the standards of all Americans…think it through; you need not have a system where all have the same benefits, call me evil but, life has shown that competition rivals any known free system.

    http://cliveshome.blogspot.com

    • collapse expand

      I hope you are getting some financial assistance with your medication.
      Competition is a very good mechanism to regulate supply and demand in purely discretionary markets, such as children’s toys, or fashion apparel.
      Outside that it is one of the most destructive and distorting influences known. In health care competition kills millions of people every year, and it drives costs up and quality down. Statistics show that people who cannot see this also believe in God.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Clive- if you read my many months of posts you would know that I do support and recommend the health care legislation.

      Competition is important in how we do things and, when properly and fairly executed, does tend to produce a better product.

      But there is no competition among health insurance providers and if you think there is, you’re just drinking the cool-aid and not doing your homework. The health insurers have an anti-trust exemption, which means they are exempt from following the rules of competition. If you track this on a state by state basis, which is how health insurance is sold, you will find remarkably little competition with, typically, two or three large companies controlling the market. Yes, I know, allow health insurance companies to sell across state lines and life will be grand. Great! But maybe you can tell me why this is the case because I spend a lot of time following these arguments and nobody has shown me yet.

      If you can deliver a system where there is true competition (which won’t happen because keeping medical costs under control is a function of massive bargaining power by the insurer- not competition producing more options for customers but less power for the insurer), I’m in. But don’t you think you might want to really think this through and do you homework so you can back up your assertions with the facts? I went to your website and it’s all about having knowledge. May I respectfully suggest you take your own advice and beef up your knowledge in this area?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  7. collapse expand

    If hawaiis health care system is so great….then I assume somewhere in the health bill Hawaii is exempt from forced Obamacare?

    Actually Rush has dropped 100 pounds….you are showing an out of date picture….

  8. collapse expand

    Rush is still morbidly obese.

    Why would Hawaii want to continue something that isn’t as GOOD as what YOU are calling Obamacare anyway?

    cliveshome: apparently you are evil if you support the current system.

    The truth is this will actually improve the overall quality of care in the USA. Perhaps we can get out of 37th place some day now.

  9. collapse expand

    Does it strike anyone else that the debate seems to boil down to two positions?
    1) my health care is god enough, so don’t change anything for anybody, or I may be worse off somehow
    2) my health care coverage is inadequate or nonexistent, so the whole system needs to change.

    Both lines of argument are an absolute recipe for disaster in sustainability of the system.
    The former speaks for itself. The latter has the sound of someone looking for a free ride. This example, of the lowest health care costs in one of the most costly states in the nation is a good start to the debate. We all owe Rush a thank you for inadvertently changing the debate towards the benefits of wellness, shifts away from ER care for the uninsured, and the wastes of the current “medical-industrial complex” arms race mentality of competing hospitals.
    The 800-lb gorilla cannot be ignored here!

  10. collapse expand

    This is great. I really wish I knew someone who could get a call into Limbaugh to tell him to read this.

  11. collapse expand

    Rush has recently lost 90 pounds and currently weighs about 210 lbs but you took a cheap shot by calling 100 pounds overweight and used an old picture. How can you expect any credibility when you let your personal bias glare like that?

    • collapse expand

      nokomisfl-
      If you think that using an old picture and ‘mistating’ Limbaugh’s weight is what’s important about this piece, then I think I have more to worry about than what you feel is determinative of credibility.
      Further, there is nothing about what I do here that promises objectivity. This is an opinion post. If it were a news post, I would have simply reported that Limbaugh was released from the hospital and included his quotes – without further comment.
      I think the ship has sailed on my feelings about Rush Limbaugh. Sorry.
      By the way, I suppose you often call into Limbaugh’s show complaining about his lack of objectivity too, yes?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Let me see if i understand your point. You don’t have to be credable about anything in your articles except the main point? Or is it, Rush is dispicably unobjective but since he does it no one can complain when you do it?
        Frankly, unobjectivity is always fine regardless if its from either side. It isn’t too hard to see when any writer/entertainer is stretching because of bias and to take that into consideration in evaluating an article. Its refreshing however when a writer takes responsibility for their bias rather than trying to excuse it…..which isn’t you.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          I would say you are completely missing the point.

          Sadly, I am unable to follow Rush around with a scale in order to get his most up to date weight at any given moment.

          But let’s dig a bit deeper. Here is the actual line from the post that is so troubling to you -

          “Now, I suspect old Rush has a pretty good health insurance policy, even if he does smoke cigars like a chimney and carry around about 100 extra pounds.”

          Notice that I specifically say that I “suspect” that Rush has a pretty good health insurance policy. As I am not his insurance agent, I really don’t know this for sure – which is why I suspect it.

          Do you deny that Rush is known to smoke cigars on a regular basis? The most current information I have is that he does – although it is certainly possible he quit this morning, or last week or whenever without bothering to call and tell me.

          Do you deny that Rush has often carried around quite a bit of extra weight? I know that he does not deny it. What does he weight at this moment. Sorry – I don’t know. Yet you are prepared to rely on a commenter who tells us that Limbaugh has lost 90 pounds. Maybe he has. Maybe he’s lost 100 pounds or 200 pounds or gained 20. Are you suggesting that this commenter knows this information? And if you would be willing to admit that he probably does not, why are your suggeting that my credibility is at issue instead of his or hers?

          Finally – and most importantly – why in the world are you wasting your time – and mine- talking about something that his wholly irrelevant to the point of the article. Take out the sentence that is so troubling and credibility challenging. Now, if you want to say that I have mistaken or misrepresented the health care system of Hawaii, then you would have cause to challenge my credibility. If you believe i have misquoted what Limbaugh said then you would have cause to challenge credibility.

          But by picking on the sentence that you have will convince nobody that you have any point worth stating — it is a diversion and, finally, silly.

          You may comment more on this if you feel the need but I’m done. If you have something to say about the substance of the piece, I’ll be happy to respond in kind.

          Now the point – rea

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Sadly, I am unable to follow Rush around with a scale in order to get his most up to date weight at any given moment.

            True Fact: There is a person who actually does this for a living.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Rick, I stumbled upon your ‘opinion post’ and had to read how Rush supposedly endorsed socialist medicine, nice tag, you landed nicely in google search. I was going to pass this up, but as I read your comments and replies to your readers comments, I was compelled to dig further. I can’t say I’m surprised that you’re an attorney in California, but regardless, I’ll try to make this easy for you. Your challenge to this particular reader was to say something about the substance of the piece, and perhaps he can’t but I sure can.

            First of all I’d like for you to explain how Rush’ giving accolades to the Hawaiian health care system is in any way equated to him approving of government mandated “insurance” because last I checked, the two are not one in the same? Secondly, you would have more credibility if you would use an apples to apples comparison between the Hawaiian Prepaid Health Care Act which mandates EMPLOYER coverage of EMPLOYEES, and the Health Insurance (not Health Care) law you admittedly supported which mandates INDIVIDUALS to purchase Insurance for themselves. Can you do that, or have you even read the Hawaiian Prepaid Health Care Act which you refer to in your post? Please show where in Hawaii does it mandate that Insurers MUST provide insurance to anyone regardless of their insurance risks AND provide UNLIMITED medical benefits to people all magically WITHOUT raising premiums? Given the fact a. that you are an attorney in the land of Pelosi, b. that you have probably NEVER had any experience actually running a business outside of your law practice, and c. that you either have no understanding of how insurance actually works or are so supportive of the nanny state that you don’t believe in private insurance companies… I absolutely challenge your credibility. You completely distorted Rush’ comments on a health care system to somehow be supportive of socialized medicine, and either you truly believe that twisted logic, or you are as clueless as those you support in public office.

            Also, with regard to your comment – “Yes, I know, allow health insurance companies to sell across state lines and life will be grand. Great! But maybe you can tell me why this is the case because I spend a lot of time following these arguments and nobody has shown me yet.” Perhaps you should first of all study both free-market economic ideas and competitive principles in economics, and while you’re at it- Insurance principles from those who have actually implemented and provided it. The answer to your query is in the same paragraph. The fact that “two or three large companies controlling the market” from state to state is precisely because potential competitors CAN’T sell across state lines, and MAKE IT MORE COMPETITIVE. Companies CAN’T increase the risk pool because they are limited to individual states from which to provide coverage. Of course there is limited competition! What exactly is so hard to understand about that concept? But no, instead of grasping the ideas that could actually accomplish some of the same ideals of ‘more universal’ coverage, without raising taxes, somehow you and your political brethren can’t comprehend simple economics. Another case in point- If the purpose of the supposed “Health Care” act was somehow to lower costs, then why didn’t it make any requirements for the MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND PROVIDERS to provide efficiencies in cost and controls? And why didn’t it address Legal issues that keep so many lawyers wealthy with frivolous lawsuits against doctors and insurance companies?? Oh wait, I know this.. maybe it’s because there are 170 lawyers in Congress and 58 in the Senate as of 2009. And most of them have no clue about Economics nor business, outside of suing companies or representing them in court.

            I have a challenge for you- How about you making public the Association of Health Care Journalists health care plan for its employees, and then have them demand from their insurance provider the demands the just passed law requires of insurers- Unlimited coverage, no pre-existing conditions, and no raise in premiums. How about you get them to practice what they preached was so good for the rest of us, then when you have a clue of the folly of your logic, come back and give us a report.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  12. collapse expand

    LIMBAUGH DEAD of ANAL CYST at 58
    St Petersburg Times/Gazzette
    January 1, 2010

    Rush Limbaugh, the popular conservative talk show host, has been pronounced dead today at the age of 58. Doctors have determined the cause of death to be complications from sitting on an anal cyst for over 20 years. Doctors also said other factors related to his death, like eating massive amounts of transfats, consuming massive amounts of saturated fats, excessive smoking and addiction to oxycontin, hydrocodone and Viagra.

    Dr Arnold Bladen, the hospital’s Chief of Dittology, said when paramedics brought him to the hospital Mr. Limbaugh was constantly spewing verbal puss they have never seen before. They believe this diarrhea of the mouth aggrevated his anal cyst because the same color discharge came from both his mouth and anus, and both smelled just as bad.

    Mr Limbaugh’s anal cyst, or butt wart, has often served to Mr. Limbaugh’s benefit, because it allowed him to avoid serving in the Vietnam War. During that war Mr. Limbaugh was a war hawk who loved to send others to die in a useless war, but who cowardly used his ass wart to get out of serving.

    Amor Onwinger, a spokesman for Mr Limbaugh, said funeral arrangements will be forthcoming, and further stated that to move Rush’s body from the hospital will require the use of heavy lifting equipment that is often used on Hawaii’s beaches to clear them of beached whales. He went on to say, “Because burial would require such a huge plot of land that Mr. Limbaugh’s body would be dragged out to sea just as dead whales are disposed of when they are found dead on beaches”.

    Mr. Limbaugh had three children, all of whom seem eager to continue their daddy’s business. Little Glenn Beck Limbaugh, Baby Hannity Limbaugh and Tantrum OReilly Limbaugh all said they feel nothing but happiness because now they will have less competition so they can market their hatred, anger, racism and lies to even more right wing freaks. Mr. Limbaugh’s five ex-wives refused to comment on Mr. Limbaugh’s death, probably in fear they would violate terms of their divorces with Mr. Limbaugh and lose millions.

    Copyright 2009, St Petersburg Times/Gazzette, All Rights Reserved

    Reference: Rush Limbaugh’s Ass Wart can be found at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilonidal_cyst

  13. collapse expand

    Michael-
    Who pays Rush’s weight monitor for performing what will now join my list as one of the worst jobs in the world?

  14. collapse expand

    Dear God, give up on the petty semantics please. Limbaugh is HEAVY in every sense of the word. Even if his weight is going down, owing to being infected with AIDS, he is getting heavier in other respects with every passing day.
    He is one of those people who, when he identifies something that is successful and publicly owned and funded, immediately wants it transferred into private hands so that its success can make someone rich. The evidence of course, is, that as soon as the public asset is privatized it gets corrupted and turns to shit, and has to be bailed out.

  15. collapse expand
    deleted account

    “It turns out that Limbaugh has not been keeping up with his current events. If he was, he might have known he was lavishing praise on the most socialistic medical system in the United States.”

    HA!

    Brilliant piece Rick

  16. collapse expand

    rdalton-
    my, my..nice rant!
    I’ll answer you more directly, if you don’t mind.
    If you feel that Rush Limbaugh is supportive of employer mandated health insurance, as is the requirement in the State of Hawaii, then I’ll wave a flag for all to see and proclaim my wrongness!
    As for your comment about selling across state lines, I believe it is your ‘political bretheren’ who have advanced that as the solution to health care. As I have said, time and again, I don’t mind it but it surely ain’t the solution. You might try reading a few more of my posts before you point out how little I know about health care policy. I’ll also be sure to let the many democrats and republicans I consult on the topic that you have deemed me to be unfit to speak on the subject and that they should fire me at once! And, yes…I do speak with elected representatives of both parties because my only ‘political bretheren’ are the people who go untreated by physicians because they have no reasonable access to the system.
    Oh, and if we don’t count the two, New York stock exchange listed companies I’ve run, you’re absolutely right that I’ve never run a company.
    Finally, what did California every do to you? We do have Republicans here you know. Last I checked, my friend the Governor was included among their ranks…as is my friend running for the GOP nomination for Senate.
    You should settle down…you’re going to need a doctor. Hope you have insurance.

    • collapse expand

      Glad you liked it :) . Your reply is a nice re-direct and cute retort, but there wasn’t one specific answer to any of my questions asking you to prove your points. It’s unfortunately a tactic that politicians have used to blow past the substance and overwhelm with “feel good. So I stand by my challenges to support your claims.

      I didn’t say I believed Rush was supportive of any mandated anything, and I doubt he or anyone who believes in freedom, would do, since mandated anything is in fact a government encroachment on personal freedom, and the Federal Governments mandates, and encroachment on States Rights I would think. My tirade was launched because of your mis-characterization of what Rush no doubt meant when he gave accolades to the Hawaiian HEALTH care system which had nothing to do with it’s state law requiring employers to cover their employees. We agree that selling across state lines isn’t the solution, but wouldn’t it have been a step in the right direction instead of massive jump to tax and spend ideology that won’t “fix” it either? Why would you support a law like that? Why couldn’t there be a step by step “fix”, you know – baby steps, instead of this urgent need to “fix it”?

      Perhaps I directed my ‘rant’ more personally than I should have, but consider it not only toward you but all those who willingly support policies and politicians that slowly rip the freedoms and heritage from America while ensuring our future generations will have nothing but taxes and massive debt in government beyond anything we ever imagined; so while I applaud your altruistic spouts for those who have no reasonable access to health care, which sounds nice for public support, it rings rather hollow when the “fix” as you supported doesn’t just “fix” it for those people, but screws it to the 90% of Americans who didn’t need it “fixed”. And I have no doubt that you are quite adept at “health care policy” but that doesn’t necessarily equate to “common sense” or “our nation’s economic health”, does it? As for the politicians firing you, unfortunately it is most of them that should be fired, Republican and Democrat as we have entrenched powers that operate on the same greed they accuse of others.

      If you ran two corporations then I’m appalled that you could support laws that will guarantee inflation, higher consumer costs across the board, and damage American business competitiveness at a time when we need the opposite. And while I’m glad you have friends who are less marxist-minded than your Idol, it’s unfortunate that they haven’t had more influence on your ideology, because we need more people of influence who believe in the ideals that made America great, not those that guarantee its demise.

      On a lighter note, you’re Jewish, like espresso and ‘House,’ so you can’t be all bad.. it’s just unfortunate that your political leanings are juxtaposed to common sense and freedom.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        ok…what baby steps would you have taken?

        And a couple of ‘ground rules’…. I think you’re referring to the 80% of Americans who think they like it the way it is. I say they ‘think’ they like it because 80% of Americans have not been subjected to a serious illness.

        It’s no coincidence that the number we see in the polls equals the precise number of the healthy who make up the ratio of the insurance pools in large group policies (80% healthy to take care of the 20% sick.) A much fairer measuring stick would be to discover the percentage of those who have been seriously ill feel about how they were treated by their insurance.

        Another thing — I have no objection to private markets in insurance. They worked reasonably well for a long time. However, their time is coming to an end simply because the model doesn’t work any longer. Noting sinister – just the inevitable end to a business cycle.
        Indeed, if you read more of what I wrote you would discover that I believe the heart of the problem is that the private insurance business model no longer works. It’s not all about the insurers trying to screw people to make more money (they actually operate on tiny profit margins) -it’s about insurance companies no longer being able to profit at all in segments of the market such as individual and small group policies. Soon, this will spread to large group policies and, finally, the insurance model will collapse. Because private industry is not innovating a new payer system that will work, guess what will happen? Whether you like it or not- and whether I like it or not – the only entity wealthy enough to step in and cover the bill will be the government. It’s not about ideology – it’s the result of what happens when the private market fails to innovate when the system we have is reaching the natural end of its business cycle.

        The new health care law is not about all the things you are suggesting. The new health care law is about extending the private insurance market for a longer period of time. It’s anyone’s guess how long that will be. Why? Because nobody wants to face up to the inevitability of a government payer system for the majority of Americans while wealthier Americans will continue with high-priced private coverage.

        The new law is also about getting something on the books. It is very far from even being particularly good, but the reality of the American legislation system is that there has to be a “foundation” law before anything substantive can be accomplished. Believe it or not, this was a baby step!

        The one thing I wanted to see in the new legislation was anything crafted to include a lot more people. The health care system in this country will change- it is unavoidable. When it does, and we are forced to respond to a crisis situation when the insurance markets collapse (as is likely to happen because politicians don’t want to deal with the problems in the near term- that’s the nature of politics), I want the new model – whatever form it may take – to be more inclusive.

        As for the nonsense about stripping freedoms and all that stuff- with all due respect, could it be you who is being sucked in by the politics? I have no idols and certainly any grownup with a brain would never have a politician as an idol.

        I also know the history of this country and freedoms are a very relative thing. Americans have had freedoms stripped far beyond anything we are experiencing currently. It’s an ebb and flow based on the times. The Patriot Act certainly stripped some freedoms and I can see why that may have been necessary given the times we live in. All of this tea party talk is silly and little more than a diversion keeping you focued on rooting for your team instead of for the nation.

        If you want to really think about solving a pressing and serious problem in health care, stop listening to all the nonsense from every side and look at what is really going on. It is a fact that access to heath care is a growing problem in the middle class. Under the current system, when someone loses their job, they’ve got about a year of expensive COBRA payments until they have nothing at all. I’m not talking about hand-outs or whatever else troubles you. I’m talking about working people who follow the rules and find themselves facing bankruptcy when they get seriously ill. I have a feeling this is not your idea of freedom. It certainly is not mine.

        The sentimental thinking of ‘the good old days’ and losing the freedoms we once had and all that stuff is just silly and highly dependent on the individual point of view. If you have more money, you have more freedom. If you have less money, you have less.

        I’m lucky. I’ve got lots of freedom because my life worked out okay. Not everyone is so fortunate. As for all the taxes, do you realize that taxes were once as high as 92% in this country? Makes our current rates look not so bad. And no, I don’t like paying taxes but I do know that you have to pay for what you get.

        After you think about that, think about how our freedoms would be if we became a society of ‘every man for himself.’ I’m all for free enterprise and the abilty for everyone to get as far as they can if they work hard. I’m living proof it can work. Believe me, I started with less than zilch. But a decent society looks out for people who can’t look out for themselves. And that includes old people. I know how it was for the elderly before we had Medicare and while the system has tons of problems, our seniors today are dramatically better off than they were. I think that’s a good thing.

        Now, what are the baby steps you would recommend?

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  17. collapse expand

    “…ok…what baby steps would you have taken?
    And a couple of ‘ground rules’…. I think you’re referring to the 80% of Americans who think they like it the way it is. I say they ‘think’ they like it because 80% of Americans have not been subjected to a serious illness.
    Actually I was referring to what’s left over when you subtract the supposed 30 million Americans who don’t have insurance according to the administration, from the total population, so maybe I’m off a percentage point or two depending on the population now, and of course assuming the ‘uninsured’ doesn’t include the illegals living here, which I’m sure will also end up with coverage, but I digress.
    And while I would normally say ‘okay fine, even using your assumption’.. but I cant because your ground rule assumes 80% of Americans like it the way it is.. and they don’t. I don’t. Thus the argument was and is not status quo vs change, it has always been about ‘how’ to change, with one end of the spectrum being the big government fixes everything side, and the other being the private sector as the primary catalyst for fixes. Nevertheless, for the sake of actually having a decent debate, let’s use your assumption.
    Regarding your comment how people who have been seriously ill have been treated by their insurance, I doubt most of them would like it, but Rick, Insurance is only a method of delivery of payment for health care, it isn’t the culprit. That’s where you and others have allowed the debate to get off track. The focus should have always been on “health care costs” and not “insurance.” I list here the top 18 immediate effects the law will have, according to the Huffington Post (I selected a liberal source for you) and besides the enhanced Fraud Abuse Checks, I’d like for you to point out ONE that directly affects health “care” costs.. or am I overlooking it?
    1 An End To Pre-Existing Conditions
    2 Small Business Tax Credits
    3 Seniors Get ‘Donut Hole’ Rebate
    4 More Young Adults Covered On Parents’ Plans
    5 No Lifetime Caps
    6 Adults With Pre-Existing Conditions Covered
    7 New Insurance Plans Must Include Preventative Care
    8 The End Of ‘Recissions’
    9 Transparency In Insurance Companies
    10 Customer Appeals Process
    11 Indoor Tanning Services Tax
    12 Enhanced Fraud Abuse Checks
    13 Medicare Expansion To Rural Areas
    14 Deductions For Blue Cross Blue Shield
    15 Nutrient Content Disclosure
    16 Better Coverage For Early Retirees
    17 Better Consumer Information On The Web
    18 Encouraging Investment in New Therapies

    I mean what here will actually affect the COST of health care? What restricts hospitals from charging 10 times the cost of a medication or other products ‘provided’ a patient during a hospital visit? Or what restricts the doctors from billing the same hour for 5 different patients just because he walked into the room for the required time to bill insurance for an hour? What in this new law better controls the costs for prescription drugs, wherein manufacturers and middlemen make up to 1000%, something that would have a drastic and immediate impact on the cost of health ‘care’? Do you realize you can walk into a pharmacy in some european countries and buy some of the same generic medicines for 2 cents on the dollar that you would pay here? And where in the new law are there limits on awards from lawsuits against doctors and hospitals which have a direct affect on the doctors cost of services in his need for his own insurance needs? And as a side note on that particular issue, what happens when the floodgates are opened from the new 30 million patients, some of who haven’t even cared about their own health, and many of whom would be more than willing to become instant millionaires from some hyped up lawsuit and slick lawyer (no offense) against the doctors or hospitals that somehow becomes responsible for not having told them it was bad to smoke all those years, or that see new opportunities to rip off the system, all while we the taxpayers are paying for it? Yeah I exaggerate a bit, but you get the point. Or where exactly in this new law are there incentives for personal responsibility? If someone decides he wants to shoot heroin into his veins, slice his wrists as a form of art, or engage in everything NOT healthy, why should we minimize the consequences of his actions that he chooses? What happens to personal responsibility when you tell someone no matter what you do to yourself, we’re going to give you UNLIMITED health care, and you won’t have to pay a dime.. well you will have to pay $695 a year, wow what a bargain. Tell me please how does that philosophy jive with the concept of ‘looking out for people who can’t help themselves?”
    Now back to the original question regarding baby steps, I just gave you some that would have real and direct impact in lowering health CARE costs, and in lowering health CARE costs, insurance costs would naturally be affected, that is as long as you allowed market forces of competition to drive the insurance industry, instead of this regulated quasi-monopolistic system in place now that restricts competition and innovation. Want more baby steps? Here’s one that also shows that this law had nothing to do with taking care of those 30 million people mentioned, and one baby step that would have avoided adding trillions of dollars to our national debt. We do have something called Medicare, yes? Why not revamp it or expand it to ensure care for those who need it? Bureaucracy is already in place, it could have been much more efficient, and certainly could have been reworked to provide coverage for those people you suggest want it but can’t get it. Why not that baby step?
    Now about the private insurance issues. Your suggestion that the model doesn’t work anymore may be true, but if so, it is only because of government designs. Business is business, and in a free market, competition is a creates efficiency of distribution of goods and services, and innovation and creativity. Take away the ability for companies to compete, or a reason too, and the model will in fact ‘die’. But again the focus of the health care industry concerns as an insurance issue is troubling because despite all the ‘fixes’ that the idiots in Washington may conjure up, the costs will continue to spiral upward and now with the constant need to increase money from the trough of taxation, we’re ultimately doomed. Guaranteed. So you want to ‘fix’ the problems? Let businesses do what they do and get government idiots out of the way. If you suggest to me that other government programs are somehow to be held up as examples of government efficiency and why this insurance law is so good, then you lose any credibility in the common sense society. My baby steps would be a better start for a free market based economy and would provide the coverage you say you want, re-invigorate the private insurance model to perform, while not bankrupting our nation and forcing the 80% of Americans to pay for it through higher taxes, inflation, and guaranteed insurmountible debt for our children.
    Now I test your economic understanding as a businessman. Tell me please, understanding the concept of insurance as being a system to spread the cost of risk across an entire group, answer me please how you could as an insurer: provide unlimited lifetime coverage regardless of an individuals condition or illness that may already exist, take on 30 million new patients, many of whom will be those who will need continuous treatment in the millions of dollars for the rest of their lives, and somehow lower the premium cost for your insurance product? It is IMPOSSIBLE. True about there needing to be a foundation law before anything substantive being accomplished, but this law is everything I suggest and time will prove me right I’m afraid, but by then it won’t matter. What is irritating and funny in a sickening way, is that when the ‘fix’ doesn’t ‘fix’ anything, you’ll find other reasons as to the reasons why things keep getting worse, trying to find the next fix in the fantasyland of how big government always proves to be best for a nation’s prosperity and well-being as proven so often in history, although a single example escapes me.
    And you’ll have to excuse me but stripping freedoms and “all that stuff” isn’t nonsense. Freedoms are indeed a relative thing, but America was founded as an exceptional nation, and represented such ideals as never before in modern history with regard to self government, at least that’s my understanding. Perhaps the ‘ebb and flow’ that you see is actually the changing of the political order – one that represents bigger more pervasive and controlling government, and the other of lesser extent. Unfortunately the ebb keeps flowing to the left, regardless of which political group is in power, and the end result is a loss of personal freedoms. For your information I’m not ‘rooting’ for any team except America, and all that it represents, including the ideals it was made great by, and the people who make it what it is today. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives, or any other political view, its about the survival of our nation, and the same old bankrupt producing ideas are going to cause a collapse of our economy, because there is no way we can as a nation continue to spend more trillions of dollars and expect to pay for it without massive inflation or taxation or some integration of currencies and economies, or all of the above, that’s what’s inevitable.
    Now I’m happy to provide additional ideas of baby steps but the truth is none of them matter, this was never about the noble things you suggest, it was about controlling the hundreds of billions of dollars that flow through the health industry, all of which Uncle Sam wants. That’s how they can say it lowers the deficit in ten years, not because there will be that much saving, but because there will be that much more money flowing through the coffers of the US government. That’s why they don’t want to lower the cost of health “care” they just want a piece of the pie that it creates, and the higher the cost, the more money that flows into uncle sam’s pockets, plain and simple. How’s that for perspective?
    As for the idol comment, actually I got that from your bio where you referred to Obama and forces of nature as what you truly respect. According to various dictionary sources, ‘idol’ means someone or something you regard with deepest respect, hence the ‘idol’ comment. Of course given this, and your own statement regarding grownups who have brains, you may want to revise your biography or it may make this whole debate an unfair match as I am quite certain I DO have a brain. *smile
    Peace

    • collapse expand

      And here I didn’t even realize it was a debate. I tend to debate only with those whom I idolize—excuse me—respect, but then they are apparently one and the same.

      I actually, via my last post, made an effort to seriously engage. I really was looking for what baby steps you would suggest. I’ve re-read your latest comment a number of times and, somehow, I cannot seem to find even one such suggestion.

      Your point about the reform being failing to deliver on cost savings is pretty much correct. Gee— I wonder if the Republicans might have had anything to do with that and all the other lost provisions that actually would have had an impact on the issues you raise? It would be my great pleasure to send you copies of the bills that didn’t make it. While I suspect that you will simply say something pithy about how you don’t read 2000 page bills because……blah,blah,blah, you’d be surprised what was in them.

      Retorting that insurance companies cannot make money because of gov’t interference is…well…it certainly makes the point that you hold your brain in high regard, you truly don’t know what you’re talking about. But please, don’t take my word for it. Spend some time with some health insurance CEO’s as I do. Listen to what they have to say.

      Finally – and I say finally because while I invite you have to have last word- I’m pretty much done with you, while you write reasonably well, havng the facts will always prove more useful as does the ability to see another side’s point of view. You’re so busy telling me who I idolize and making other snide remarks about what yout think you understand about my positions, that you contribute little beyond anger stated in nicer sentences.

      Tell you what, why don’t you use some of your inevitable retort to actually tell us what it is you would do with the system rather than take shots? If you say something intelligent, then we can have a debate -because making nasty Obama references, etc. just doesn’t get there, even if your Jewish and like expresso.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    “… I tend to debate only with those whom I idolize—excuse me—respect, but then they are apparently one and the same.”
    Hey I didn’t invent the word nor give its meaning, so don’t blame me for how you used it.
    “…I actually, via my last post, made an effort to seriously engage. I really was looking for what baby steps you would suggest. I’ve re-read your latest comment a number of times and, somehow, I cannot seem to find even one such suggestion.”
    While I appreciate the attempt at engagement, which is more than most liberals would do when they find themselves on the spot and without answers, you pretty much point out why your “fixers” will never “get it,” and why I question the motives and integrity of the legislators that wrote it – you’re so locked in to YOUR ideas of what to do, you not even can’t even see alternatives, you won’t allow yourself to consider alternate viewpoints. Since my baby step suggestions to reform the health care system and provide protections to the 30 million uninsured escaped you, allow me to highlight a few that you evidently didn’t see. And just so you know, these are not ideas I gleened from any political platform, they are my own observations; I say this because I wouldn’t want you to feel like you would be unwittingly supporting the political forces who you support, should you happen to see something that you could agree.
    1. Revamp or expand Medicare to cover the uninsured,
    2. Address the overcharges, and billing practices by hospitals and care providers,
    3. Address the pricing structures and distribution practices of pharmaceutical companies which charge 10 times more for a product here, than they do in markets abroad,
    4. Reform Tort law so it prevents abusive and costly lawsuits and liabilities which have a direct impact on care providers costs,
    5. Put qualifications on individuals to take part in their own health by practicing responsible behavior, instead of rewarding them, I mean, why not make those who purposely abuse themselves and drive up costs for everyone, pay more for their health needs? Is it somehow better to have everyone else pay for their decisions?
    6. Encourage competition in the health insurance industry by allowing it nationally.
    And if you truly just want to make sure the people less fortunate or in need have health care, then just set up a government medical system to provide care for them, oh wait, that already exists. Then just expand the access to the public health care systems… but no, it’s easier to take over the health insurance business.. and before you retort with the obvious liberal talking points on that comment.. do the math.. if it costs an individual $4000 a year to buy health insurance, or he has the option to pay $700 a year to be on a government health insurance plan, what do you think the choice will be?
    “…Your point about the reform being failing to deliver on cost savings is pretty much correct. Gee— I wonder if the Republicans might have had anything to do with that and all the other lost provisions that actually would have had an impact on the issues you raise?”
    Oh really? Name ONE. Last time I checked, Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and in fact as the facts show, Republicans couldn’t do anything to stop passage of the bill nor change it, so please give some actual facts to back up your statements. Why is it that liberals are so good at deflecting questions they cant answer with accusations that sound good? Ah it’s that old LCD concept –lowest common denominator- that they have to win over so they can maintain or increase their power and control in government, yeah I get it.
    “…It would be my great pleasure to send you copies of the bills that didn’t make it. While I suspect that you will simply say something pithy about how you don’t read 2000 page bills because……blah,blah,blah, you’d be surprised what was in them.”
    Well you’re wrong again, in fact, if you actually would like to send me copies as you say, pm me for my address and I would gladly read them.. but I want you to point out how Republicans somehow managed to strip them, and then how any of them would have had anything to do with actually lowering health “care” costs, and not just affect insurance.
    Retorting that insurance companies cannot make money because of gov’t interference is…well…it certainly makes the point that you hold your brain in high regard, you truly don’t know what you’re talking about. But please, don’t take my word for it. Spend some time with some health insurance CEO’s as I do. Listen to what they have to say.
    “First of all I didn’t say I held my brain in high regard, I just held wanted to make the distinction that I believed I had one, after reading your foot in mouth comment about you not. As far as misrepresenting my statements, my suggestion was that allowing more competition (ie. Allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines as an example) would help bring down INSURANCE costs, and that is not accomplished by more government controls. But see, again bringing down Insurance costs isn’t going to affect the Health Care costs because nothing is done to contain those by simply controlling the insurance. I don’t have to spend time with anyone to understand simple concepts. America’s economic engine didn’t become the most powerful in the world by self-appreciative and ignorant politicians providing fixes that made it grow, in fact, I believe it could be argued that it was the actions of some of the very same politicians who forced this law, that were partially the reason for the banking and mortgage crisis that brought the economy to its knees, but that’s another story.
    “… havng the facts will always prove more useful as does the ability to see another side’s point of view. You’re so busy telling me who I idolize and making other snide remarks about what yout think you understand about my positions, that you contribute little beyond anger stated in nicer sentences.”
    Then why can’t you practice what you preach? All I asked was for you to back up your OWN statements with facts. All I asked was for you to point out just ONE thing in the law that actually reduced the cost of health “care” services, which is the culprit of spiralling costs. I’ve asked you pointed questions that, if you could answer, would accentuate your expertise on the subject, and which I would respect, but you haven’t attempted to educate me in anyway with answers, but instead what do you do? Deflect and accuse ME of doing the exact things YOU are doing with a nice mix of your own snide remarks. That may work to affect the LCD in society, but someone who has the ability to reason and actually has an open mind to thoughtful exchange, can see the game. I again ask that you read my previous post and answer any of the questions posed if you can. Educate me. This isn’t a snide remark, it’s an honest attempt to be taught, and at the same time provides an opportunity to enlighten others who have similar questions.
    “…Tell you what, why don’t you use some of your inevitable retort to actually tell us what it is you would do with the system rather than take shots?
    Read above.
    “…If you say something intelligent, then we can have a debate -because making nasty Obama references, etc. just doesn’t get there, even if your Jewish and like expresso.
    Regarding something as intelligent is relative, I’ve outlined my points and directed questions regarding your statements, answered your questions and simply asked for evidence for your claims. So if you want to accuse me of taking shots and making snide remarks, as you do it yourself, then fine, but at least mine are mixed with actual substance on the points raised. I respectfully await just one answer to any of my questions.
    One last comment since you are “done with me” What happens with the next sweeping liberal movement when the actual health care costs don’t come down as they promise? What then? With the mentality of head-in-the-sand narrow mindset of “it’s all insurance company’s fault” the logical argument will be that this law didn’t go far enough, and complete government management is required. You will no doubt retort with some liberal talking point garbage, but this scenario has already been proven to be the case for big government ideas.. ever encroaching, always growing.. and I challenge you to give one instance of where it isn’t the case.. income tax was never going to be over 2%, Department of Energy was going to eliminate the dependency on foreign oil, social security was going to be solvent, the budget is going to be balanced in 10 years, year in and year out.. blah blah blah always the fix is more government.. and here we are as a nation – trillions of dollars in debt and almost guaranteed collapse in the coming years.. and then who will be celebrating? Bravo.

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      Well, alright! Now there’s something to talk about.
      I’m going to respond because you took the trouble to provide a list of suggestions.

      For starters, might I respectfully suggest you spend a little more time reading a bit less bitching. You would be surprised to find that I have, on this very page, written in support of almost every item you have suggested.

      1. Revamp or expand Medicare to cover the uninsured.

      Love it. I would have expanded Medicare to be available to anyone who wants to buy into it based on higher rates for those under 65 and based on earnings. You may recall that this was proposed but came to an end when every Republican in the Senate plus Joe Lieberman said they would filibuster the idea. With every Repub plus Joe against it, the measure fails.

      2. Address the overcharges, and billing practices by hospitals and care providers,

      Completely agree. This is where you need to read the new law rather than listen to the nonsense. While I agree it doesn’t go far enough to lower costs, it does at least begin to address physician & hospital payment schemes and incentives. If you take the time to read some previous posts, you might consider the difficult issue of over testing where we all want it to be minimized…unless it is me or my family. In that case, test away! It is a difficult issue and not easily resolved in sound bites.

      3. Address the pricing structures and distribution practices of pharmaceutical companies which charge 10 times more for a product here, than they do in markets abroad.

      Completely agree- although it is a bit more complicated than you state it. Still, you will find that I have written in opposition to the deal Obama made with the drug companies. On this issue, I hold the Dems. as much to blame as Repubs. as they are all on BigPharma’s payroll.

      4. Reform Tort law so it prevents abusive and costly lawsuits and liabilities which have a direct impact on care providers costs.

      Completely agree. I’m on record as calling for state medical reviews before a malpractice case is permitted to go to trial in a court of law. The problem isn’t as big a chunk of the overall problem we face (malpractice ligitation accounts for 2% of the total healthcare expenditure) but I agree we can do this better and in a way that protects physicians from undue lawsuits.And, by they way, I am not a trial lawyer. And, again, it is definitely on the Dems.to step on to this issue as the trial lawyers have too much control over Democratic votes.

      5. Put qualifications on individuals to take part in their own health by practicing responsible behavior, instead of rewarding them, I mean, why not make those who purposely abuse themselves and drive up costs for everyone, pay more for their health needs?

      Again, agreed. Here’s the problem. It is difficult to make an assessment of charges at the time of illness. There are people who are going to have heart attacks even thought they work out and don’t smoke. So, how do you assess who has-and who has not- adequately taken care of themselves. The only practical way to do it is to tax products that we know make people unhealthy. We know that sugar and corn products cause diabetes, etc., etc. Yet, when the idea of a sugar tax is proposed, the bottling industry goes crazy and their GOP protectors shoot it down. I know taxes is a dirty word, but this is the only practical and pragmatic way to accomplish what you suggest.

      6. Encourage competition in the health insurance industry by allowing it nationally.

      If I’m not mistaken, you criticized me in your first comment for my saying this is fine.
      The thing is – it won’t work. Medical costs vary from state to state. An insurance company pricing policies in Indiana are not going to offer the same policy in California for the same price. That said, it is certainly okay with me if they want to try.

      Finally – name one Republican? The Dems. are in control? You’re kidding, right? I assume you’ve been paying attention and heard of that pesky little problem called the filibuster?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Nice to see we agree on some things. We both have “House” in our character i see, and despite our differences politically, I appreciate an intelligent exchange that can hopefully educate people who may read.

    Final thoughts and response.. I wonder if liberals told their supporters to read more and bitch less during the Bush years or years during Republican rule of Congress… yeah I bet they did.. If more people would ‘bitch’ when it counted, our nation wouldn’t be on a crash course toward collapse..

    It’s nice to see that we actually agree on much of what i consider would have been common sense steps to change health care in America in a more responsible way, but Rick, if you’ve consulted with lawmakers, why couldn’t these issues that we agree on be made the focus? It goes back to my previous statement, this was never about providing coverage to those without insurance.. in fact you agree with me in another of your posts I see.. that a single payor system is inevitable.. government run health care system, that is if the nation’s economy lasts so long.

    I didn’t criticize you for any statements that support common sense and reasonable steps, so not sure why you thought i did, but regardless, your statements regarding all the things that were voted out by Republicans are disingenuous, first because they were merely part of the larger bill that was ultimately passed. These things were never considered as standalone ‘baby steps’ toward resolving the problem, so to strip out parts of a massive bill was a worthy effort and did not affect the ultimate outcome. And FYI the Democratic caucus held a Filibuster proof Senate for the first year and some change of the Obama admin. That some of the Senators and Representatives (very few) still believe they should represent THEIR constituents, speaks well of those who went against the train that ultimately ran over the concept of our Republic.. but perhaps this will be corrected in November. It’s interesting to note the way Democrats have to operate in order to get what they want. Clinton did it too. Push through the things that you don’t have support for, as early as possible, and take the heat on the midterms. Hopefully if you can screw it in early enough, Americans will have forgotten. If it were my choice, I’d say it was time to get rid of all the entrenched powers in Washington, Republican and Democrat, and start over, but that isn’t realistic..

    As for this Health Care Act and every other government power grab that comes from this administration you so admire, perhaps those of us who have means will survive just fine, at least until our riches are destroyed in value or confiscated by the type of government you seem to want. Perhaps it will take an economic collapse and confiscatory actions by a tyrannical government before all the wealthy do-gooders realize their mistake, but unfortunately by that time it will be too late for going back and when that happens, whether we have Health insurance or not, will be the least of our worries.

    Peace

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    Hate to say I told you so.. then again.. no I don’t… I just hate that we have such corrupt and inept political leaders who just don’t get it. — AP Report: Health overhaul will increase nation’s tab– http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9043222.. what’s truly amazing is that you don’t read this article on what now must be the government media- CNN and MSNBC and other AMERICAN networks.. pitiful. No wonder Americans so blindly walk into serfdom without a clue..

    • collapse expand

      Actually, you can read this article pretty much everywhere this morning – including the Huffington Post.

      The reason you are reading it first on The Guardian is because it is a British news paper, which means they publish quite a few hours ahead of American publications because of the time difference. If you paid attention to most stories, of any nature, you will discover this to be true.

      I would suggest that you might want to read the actual HHS report which says that the costs of health care may go up 1% over the next decade. The report also states that the law will result in providing health care to over 30 million new people.

      Personally, I find a 1% increase over a decade to be a very conservative estimate as I imagine it could easily go up more. If you take off your political hat and look at it medically, you will find that there are likely to be advances in technology and drug therapy over the decade which will save lives but at a cost.

      I have never argued that the new health care law will lower the cost of health care. Try reading all my posts on this and you will find it is clearly the case.

      You should try losing a bit of the anger (which is nothing but taking the easy way out) and get a little smarter on what this law really did – for better or for worse. If you’re interested, you should spend some time on what really causes increased medical costs – not what politicians tell you. You might find you will be a lot smarter.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Actually I read it on Foxnews first then checked the other sites. I wasn’t accusing you of saying the new health law would lower costs, but it has been my point all along that the law has nothing to do with lowering the costs of health care, which was certainly one of the lies used by certain Congressmen and women and the President in order to steam roller this into law. That’s where my anger comes from.

    To agree or disagree whether a relatively small increase in health costs over the next decade is an acceptable trade-off completely misses the point of having a government that uses deceit and outright lies suggesting the opposite of this report just a few weeks ago, in order to pass legislation that will be a catalyst in the economic collapse of our country. I have righteous anger Rick when my daughter will live in a nation in which taxes and fees to corrupt governments are more than earnings kept, and there seems to be nothing I nor other “angry” citizens can do about it..

    For the record, I think I outlined some things that could absolutely decrease health care costs in my previous posts, which suggests I have at least more of an understanding than some of the idiots in Washington, but I would be obliged to get a quick education that you may can share with your audience, save the talk on forced insurance requirements which will be impossible for private insurance companies to comply with. In fact, if you have a different post or reference site,that outlines any of these things for better or worse, I’d be happy to read it. However there is no way anyone could ever convince me that this law will do anything except speed up the demise of the American ecnonomy and US dollar, by a runaway government which has lost its ability to understand sound economic principles.

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    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Rush doesn’t have health insurance. That was one of his main points. He commented that his care cost less money than the hospital would have charged to an insurance policy account because he paid out of pocket. Although I’m sure he was at a very nice hospital, when he said that he recieved excellent care he was referring to the quantity of care he recieved, not particularly the quality. I’m sure he had a private room and a top-notch doctor, and he ordered a barrage of tests beyond what a ‘normal’ person would get(he has the money, why not?). Even after getting everything he could pay for he claims that he spent about as much as the cost of a new, low cost vehicle. His main point was that someone could have gotten pretty good treatment for even less money.
    The best analogy to explain the type of health insurance Rush (and those like-minded) is that of vehicle insurance. Vehicle insurance (minus liability) is not required by law but it is purchased by those who want to be covered in the event of an accident that causes more damage than the policy holder is willing/able to cover out of pocket. Typical vehicle insurance does not cover oil changes, new tires, brake pads, fuel, repairs, etc. Why should health insurance be required to cover regular doctor’s visits, eye exams, dental, etc?
    Finally, and this may be diffucult to wrap your head around, but health care is not a right. Doctors have to spend lots of money and time getting their degrees only to pay exorbitant insurance premiums in the event that they make a mistake (go figure, doctors are human too!). Drug and treatment R&D cost alot of money too. Hospitals staying current with the latest medical equipment, not to mention treating people who come into the emergency room with life-threatening injuries & ailments and have no way of paying for treatment.
    Until we reach a state of Utopia, money will make the world go ’round. It would be awesome if everyone could recieve the best health care the medical field has to offer, but the answer is not to bankrupt the country. The only thing public health coverage would bring is crowded & overtaxed waiting rooms and mediocre to bad health care for everyone.
    I’m not in the medical field, nor am I, by any means, and expert. I’m arguing only from common sense.

  23. collapse expand

    To: rlglinski3…

    That is not true. If Limblah paid cash he paid a LOT more than if he had insurance. The poorest get hit the hardest if they don’t have health insurance because they pay top dollar for medical services. They don’t get discounts like people covered by insurance do. You said you are no expert and that is obvious. And if you had done even a miniscule amount of research you would have discovered that those who pay cash pay the highest rate of any other group. So if Limblah said he paid less he is LYING AGAIN. Insurance companies only pay a percentage of each claim. Patients who don’t have health insurance pay the full price for each procedure.

    That is why there are more than a MILLION bankruptcies every year due to medical costs, and conservatives seem to love it when their fellow citizens lose their retirements, their homes and their lives.

    Over 43,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford medical care and have no health insurance. Only 3,000 died on 9/11, but republicans spent over a trillion on a war against a country which had NOTHING to do with the 9/11 attacks and NOTHING to do with terrorism. Why don’t these same soulless conservatives give a damn about the 43,000 people dying every year because they don’t have access to medical treatment. And DON’T say they can all go to emergency rooms to get treatment. That is a DAMNED LIE. By the time anyone gets to emergency rooms they have advanced diseases which are usually terminal.

    Conservatives have no souls and they are the most anti-Jesus, anti-human creatures in existence. They are driven by hatred, greed and racism. I wonder what the parents did to their children to produce soulless conservatives, with no empathy and no compassion?

    • collapse expand

      Actually, it’s quite common for hospitals to give discounts to those paying cash, since they don’t have to deal with an insurance company. You should do a ‘miniscule’ amount of research yourself.
      I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase ‘life isn’t fair’. Now I understand that there are people who are ‘down on their luck’ and that is what charity is for. What I don’t understand is giving people everything they need because they won’t provide it for themselves. That is called ‘Socialism’.
      We, as Americans, already spend billions of dollars a year on failed social programs and I find it outrageous that we should be expected to pay more. The private market is always going to be able to provide for people better than any form of government could, and that’s just how it is. In a nutshell, the job of the government is to provide civil order by protecting it’s citizens from threats from within and from without. Tyranny begins when the government gets into the business of meddling in peoples lives; telling them how to live and what to believe.
      As for your comment on the war on terror(which has absolutely nothing to do with this); I’ve been in the military for over 6 years, I’ve served twice in Iraq and am currently serving in Afghanistan. I can tell you first hand there’s a huge difference between death and cold blooded murder.
      Now obviously there’s nothing I could say, or do, or show you that would change your way of thinking; so I’m not going to try. I just felt it was my obligation to point out mistruth.
      I just want you to watch. The current administration has out-spent every other administration combined. Let’s see how well this ‘utopia’ works out.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    About Me

    I am an attorney in Southern California, and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. To that end, I am active member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Based in beautiful Santa Monica, California, I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to be a contributing editor to True/Slant. I've recently finished a book designed to make the health care debate understandable to the average reader, and expect it to be out in the next five months or earlier. In my 'spare time', I continue to write for television and, occasionally, for comic books.

    My checkered past includes stints in creative writing and production for television where I did strange things like founding the long running show "Access Hollywood" and serving, for many years, as the president of the Marvel Character Group where I had the distinct pleasure of being one of Spider-man's bosses.

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