• The postal service has a different business model than public health insurance. The postal service is suppose to show a profit for the service it provides i.e. postage stamps that increase about every six months it seems. Even so the post office like most government subsidized and regulated enterprises is hopelessly inefficient and really can't compete very well. But even so it along with Fed Ex and UPS are having their problems.

    Now with regard to public financed health care that business model charges their customers nothing - they are funded by tax payers and who cares about them? The public insurance will "cram down" what they are going to pay doctors and hospitals - take it or leave.

    Private companies will be handicapped because they will need to pay expenses and show a profit. The government has no concern for either of these things. Private companies will therefore be at a disadvantage and will eventually get crowded out - that is the prediction by many.

    I know that some people can find a few doctors that will work for nothing, but not many. The supply of doctors (and nurses) is controlled by price just like everything. It is foolish to think otherwise.

    June 16, 2009 at 5:27 p.m.

  • Mike..."Seems to me that you want to keep your Health Insurance, so what the problem?"

    I think the government wants to call health insurance benefits from our employers "imputed income" and tax it. If they make our health benefits from our employers too expensive to keep by taxing them, they will be forcing people to join the government plan whether they want to or not. Make me comfortable that they won't tax the benefits and I'll be a happy -- well, sorta -- camper.

    June 16, 2009 at 5:27 p.m.

  • Wayward
    Is it late or are you trying to purposely confuse me?
    Seems to me that you want to keep your Health Insurance, so what the problem?

    I believe that the government program some of the legislators do not want us to have is the best one going…. The insurance the government provides the politicians is a great one.

    I think we have somewhere between 130- 170 companies that provide Health Insurance, it is that not that farfetched that some of those companies could not compete with the public option. The private insurance companies had free rein on their policies and prices for a long time. I don’t trust the insurance companies giving us a negotiable bottom line without the public option being on the table. Like anything else, the free market insurance companies will merge into mega insurance companies and will stay in business. FedEx and UPS and can and do compete with the United States Post office.

    Quality of doctors because of pay…. I don’t think so, because a lot of industrialized nations do not have a for- profit Healthcare System. I saw a documentary where a Dr. was making about $100,000 in the United Kingdom and he was quite content. Money is not always the motivator…IMO

    June 16, 2009 at 4:37 p.m.

  • Mike..."A government fix is never the complete answer."

    Uh huh. Tell THAT to the government.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:32 p.m.

  • The June 22, 2009 issue of Time magazine has a couple of interesting articles pertaining to our broken Health Care System. The answers to our Health Care problems are not being negotiated in Congress because the prescription is prevention.

    Congress may find a way to stop the cost from escalating but ¾ of our Health Care costs are attributed to chronic preventable diseases. We cannot discount eating well, exercise, checkups, vaccinations for our children, and our mental state (stress) of not having Health Insurance.

    A government fix is never the complete answer.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:20 p.m.

  • Mike...The guarantees I was talking about are that I want to be assured that the government plan will be as good as the plan I have now. That's all I want...for the government to come up with a plan that's as good as the one I have now. If I need to see the doctor, I don't want to wait for a month or more. Chica, call me selfish if you want, but if I'm sick, I want to see the doctor I have been seeing for years and I don't want to have to wait for weeks to do it.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:10 p.m.

  • That's true you can keep your insurance, but your insurance company will probably not keep you - they will be going out of business.

    BTW I was looking at Obama's budget, mandatory spending on entitlements and interst on the debt will rise from 62% of spending to 72% of spending.

    We will have little left to spend on things that we really need to keep the country running - yeah I blame GWB for this but Obama is not helping at all. Has anyone driven on our interstate highways lately? The highway system is crumbling faster than it can be repaired.

    Ninety percent of this damage is done by heavy trucks. Parts of the interstate is so bad it will jar your dentures loose if you have any.

    Here's an idea, why not make the trucking industry pay for this damage. This would end that subsidy and promote the more efficient transportation of freight using railroads. This would also benefit health care because there would be less kidney transplants - just an idea

    June 16, 2009 at 4 p.m.

  • I’m a small business owner; do I really have to say more?

    June 16, 2009 at 3:52 p.m.

  • Both great points GoliadChica and thewaywardwind. I feel sorry for you Mike for the 1000th time, LoL.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:46 p.m.

  • Thank you, Goliadchica
    I was tempted to take out an ad and posting it on the online forum stating “If you’d like the health insurance you currently have, then by all means keep it.”

    June 16, 2009 at 3:46 p.m.

  • John
    Could you be a little more concise and tell me what program you are talking about that will benefit you, since negotiations are in initial stages? We cannot discuss line by line because a draft has not been released because of all the differences.

    Fact is, the cost of Health Care has skyrocketed by 85% during the last 10 years… The country cannot sustain this, business and individuals.

    I don’t understand what Vietnam and the war issue has to do with Health Care Reform.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:35 p.m.

  • Mike...Four more years till Medi-Care. We'll see. As for as if you like what you have, keep it, that sounds great AS LONG IS IT'S NOT TAXED AS INCOME or has some other tax placed on the benefits.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:34 p.m.

  • I think Obama has the right idea, if I understand correctly.

    A govt healthcare alternative for those who cannot afford to purchase private healthcare. While it would reduce the payments to hospitals and drs, it would also eliminate the service "giveaways" because people can't pay. In other words, reimbursement rates go down, but everyone gets paid for - I think it'll balance out or close to it. When people go to the hospital for treatment that would cost less than $100 total from a clinic, we all pay in the long run.

    And besides, these are our people, our families, neighbors, and community members. We need to quit being such selfish people and worried about what's mine mine mine. Where's all that Christianity and being "thy brother's keeper" from this supposedly Christian nation? Doesn't that include helping ill people? Why do we let people suffer from curable illnesses in the country with the best healthcare in the world?

    I'd gladly pay higher taxes if I never had to see another child or elderly person going without healthcare because they can't afford either the insurance or the deductibles. It would ease my mind to know that my children and their families would never have to go without healthcare again - and they did for many years.

    I pay more in insurance premiums than we ever use and it's ridiculous - $700 a month for a family? Come on...that's $8400 just for premiiums, not to mention deductibles and copays and medicine NOT covered. That could easily mount up to $100,000 in 10 years with no one ever going to the hospital. For that kind of money, we should be getting red carpet service, but we aren't. And I have BCBS of TX - the state plan, one of the best. But I have to save money to afford my co-pay for an MRI and play the waiting game...can I get the money together and find out if my condition is serious? If I have this problem will it kill be before I can save the money? Why do we have to live like this? Greed from all sides.

    Everybody needs to be concerned about what is best for the PEOPLE not their dang pocketbooks.

    BTW-The VA provides excellent care and goes above and beyond to take care of veterans. My ex is in Las Vegas and they just flew him to San Diego to get a hole in his eardrum fixed, they've put him thru rehab, got him glasses, dentures, and are making him take computer classes and trying to get him back in college.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:30 p.m.

  • JD..."Subsequently the healthcare industry will be staffed by less and less skilled people as the years pass."

    No doubt talent goes where the money is. But THIS doesn't sound like it will improve care in the US.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.

  • Wayward
    I was describing a political stance, not what you like or dislike.

    Extortion could be what the insurance companies had on the majority of their customers. Insurance companies- one sided horror stories are just as prevalent as the ones from the Canadian and European universal Healthcare Systems.

    I don’t think you will get guarantees from your private insurance company, much less from the government but I understand your excellent points. Won’t you be eligible for Medicare pretty soon? Just about all my friends are on Medicare without any complaints, to speak of.

    Yesterday, the president said that every time someone uses the emergency room without payment, you will get a $1000 unstated tax on your yearly insurance cost.

    As a comedian said yesterday “what's so hard about the definition of" option", in public option plan.”…. For the 999th time if you are happy with your insurance then by all means keep it.;-)

    June 16, 2009 at 3:24 p.m.

  • I would like to state that the real reason, the G.O.P. probably lost was because of the war. During a large portion of the Viet Nam conflict we democrats were in charge, which paved the way for Nixon who probably wouldn’t have won without it.

    While this program may appear a coup for my Democrats, not of the conservative persuasion, I stress a sense of caution in failing to see things as they really are. Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. While my position on this subject is obvious, I am still cautious. I hope my position as a Democrat and one who would benefit greatly from this program brings to light that we must not sacrifice Common Sense for short-term gain.

    As I’m sure many would agree, it is far better to place the countries well being above your own. Instead of indulging in “Soap Opera Politics”, which is quite entertaining and alluring, we should be discussing line by line the actually plan. For something that will change American society forever, shouldn’t we give it the respect that is required for serious inquiry?

    This is not really a matter of politics but responsible governing. If this plan will assist companies by lowering their cost due to health care, then it will make them more competitive; however if it simply spirals into a “government dependent cash guzzling agency” that limits our government capacity to control debt the answer is clear.

    I like the idea of this “whatever you call it” operating similar to the Postal Service, which does allow for fair, honest, and quality competition and for the majority of its existence has been self-sufficient. If this is the real plan, then I am 100% in support of it; it not then when pigs fly.

    I have no qualms in being blunt in my support and criticism; this is not the time to be coy.

    My opinion.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:23 p.m.

  • Wayward: I also believe that many employers will quit providing insurance benefits if the employee is eligible for government sanctioned care. I also believe that there will be less money to be made in the healthcare industry and as such, up and coming young people will opt for other fields, where they can make the kind of money doctors are making today. Subsequently the healthcare industry will be staffed by less and less skilled people as the years pass. This is the way it is playing out in the UK.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:17 p.m.

  • Mike...First of all, I don't give a hoot in hell about his "legacy." I do think that because of the cost of health care today, everybody needs insurance. The problem I have with the government plan is that I don't want MY benefits taxed as imputed income to pay for it. It seems to me that the main reason to tax insurance benefits would be to coerce the people with insurnace coverage today into opting for the government plan because it would be more affordable because of the taxes on the private insurance plans. That's almost like extortion. If the government can assure me that the benefits citizens enjoy now won't be taxed and the government plan can either be taken or rejected by people with coverage, then, fine--go for it. If my benevelant uncle wants me to use his health plan, he's gonna have to assure me that I can see the physician of MY choice and be able to see him within a reasonable amount of time -- no more than 24 hours except on weekends -- and that if I require MRI or some other diagnostic tests that they will be available within a reasonable amount of time and finally that treatment will not be denied because I'm ... uhhh, built more for comfort than for speed, so to speak. Until those guarantees are made, I'll fight it.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:04 p.m.

  • Wayward
    I was surprised to hear that the republicans want to tax health benefits on individuals instead of employers and the democrats just wanted to tax those making $250,000 or more. This is what Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and ranking member Chuck Grassley of Iowa were proposing on Fox News Sunday… They had no qualms about the repercussions... Presidential spokesman Kathy Sibelius told CNN ,that the president does not want a tax of any sort but he is willing to look at all proposals because he is dedicated to pass in a Health Care Reform bill.

    Imagine that, a ranking republican proposing a tax…. It looks like a Trojan horse to me.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:54 p.m.

  • Waywardwind
    I don’t think it’s about trust, I think it’s about political expediency.
    This president campaigned on insuring all children, but today he is proposing a Edwards/Clinton model of making Health Insurance affordable for all….. He is looking down the road and a bipartisan 70 senate vote bill will look great on his legacy. If the bipartisan bill is not enough he will have the stats, to propose Universal Healthcare in 2012.

    I see a president who is not knee jerk but pragmatic. These proposals are in their initial stages and you would be surprised what the house is gonna recommend or Ted Kennedy’s proposals.e.g. Kennedy wants to put anyone over 55 years old into Medicare and making Medicaid available for households making $110,000 in some regions…. Sure, these are some bargaining chips to bring to the table, that you don’t expect to leave with, but it is an example as to how far we are; before it comes up for a vote.

    The question is; does Obama want to go for the “the fences” or try to negotiate a safer bipartisan bill? I think the latter.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:35 p.m.

  • Thanks for the article. Shadow and it does prove sloppy work no doubt, but this article also stated that” Several top VA officials with experience at private hospitals said similar discoveries in the private sector would not have been publicized without specific knowledge that a patient was harmed.

    Daigh said his investigators tried unsuccessfully to get information about potential problems at private hospitals, and several lawmakers said they think the problem probably extends beyond the VA.

    But once again the Senate Finance Committee initial proposals have yet to include a “public option”, the emphasis on “option”; and now that the agency's inspector general has pointed out the errors; who’s to say the VA won’t clean up their act?

    June 16, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.

  • Mike..."One more time…. The president of the United States has a veto pen which will take 2/3 majority to override… He has repeatedly said “If you are one of the 170,000,000 Americans that have Health Insurance provided by your employer, and you are happy with it, by all means keep it.”

    Mike, I'd like to believe him on this -- I really would. The problem is that I don't trust him or the Congress to not tax my insurance benefits as "imputed income." If I was sure that taxes would not be imposed on the insurance benefits, I'd be more likely to support the government plan. Till that time, I don't trust it or the people who support it.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.

  • Here is a current article regarding the way the VA does business.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:53 p.m.

  • Obama's budget has medicare and Mediaid increasing at a rate of about 8% a year, twice the rate of growth in the GDP and over four times the rate of inflation that he has in his budget. I assume this reflects the passing of his health care plan.

    I heard his speech today on health care, it was mighty nice of him to grant free health care to 46 million people. Yeah he placed that burden directly on my back and millions of other taxpayers - it looked easy for him to do that, no sweat at all.

    What's next I wonder? Surely some one out there needs free something, ah car, electricity, lunch, anything?

    June 15, 2009 at 7:10 p.m.

  • I was I was an excellent article Vet…. In reminded me of the GOP debates where Romney (never served) was telling McCain that torture was good… But he does have five sons that served him, so that’s like being in the service of this country… He had to backtrack that statement.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:50 p.m.

  • Thanks for the info Archie

    June 15, 2009 at 5:44 p.m.

  • Mitt who? Oh....this Mitt Romney:

    June 15, 2009 at 5:26 p.m.

  • I'm on the south Texas Veteran's Healthcare system and I think they are good for me! I don't know about how good someone that's never taken care of themselves would feel! My VA doctor spends about 30 minutes talking and asking me things about my health.I'm lucky to have this healthcare along with the meds I get!

    June 15, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

  • That’s the thing about right wingers that depend on Fox News….. They have a locked in mindset that has cost them two straight elections and vying for a third.

    No alternative solutions, just talking points from the naysayers.

    One more time…. The president of the United States has a veto pen which will take 2/3 majority to override… He has repeatedly said “If you are one of the 170,000,000 Americans that have Health Insurance provided by your employer, and you are happy with it, by all means keep it.” The Health Care Reform Bill is in the United States Senate right now. Many baby boomers will be moved over to Medicare anyway…. This Health Care Reform bill has a lot of components; the most important one is; insuring 47,000,000 people, which will take the load off of emergency rooms.

    Main point don’t let the naysayers scare you away because if the Health Care Reform goes down this time, it might be the very last time anyone will ever take up the cause again.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

  • Consumer confidences, the domino effect of letting AIG fail… You really have to do some research see how many countries and businesses AIG was affiliated with…. What happened to the stock market when the GOP voted against the bailout the first time, they immediately wanted a do over… The domino effect of the do nothing Congress(GOP) would have led to 25% unemployment, more than nine banks were propped up with a bailout money and we cannot forget the 1,000,000,000,000 or so that the fed pumped in on their own.

    The fact that Hezbollah was overthrown in Lebanon cannot be overlooked and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech mitigated a two state solution will be part of the plan, as opposed to what he was talking about a month ago. Political campaign move (lol) for what? Agreements are never signed in a vacuum and take many months sometimes years to develop.
    Barney Frank is not in the senate where the Financial Committee Chairman Max Baucus and ranking member and Chuck Grassley are going over to details before turning it over to the house. I am talking about the committee talks the with the AMA that are taking place today.

    Again your superiority overwhelms me.:-)

    June 15, 2009 at 5:10 p.m.

  • So much for not proof reading, before posting.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:52 p.m.

  • LOL, Unemployment would have jumped by 600% in two weeks, and Wall Street would have crashed.

    So you are saying that the 91 % of our financial insitutions that were not having financila problems would also not lended momey because of the 9% that failed. How did you get there?

    Presidnet Obama's trip to the middle east, in my opinion was just a political campiage move. No agreements were signed. Everthing else is just spectulation, in my opinon.

    "The president's surrogates could not get a word in about Health Care Reform". Let's get real the President and his staff and Barney and many democratic leaders have been speaking about Universal Health Care for weeks.

    WOW, health care represents 20 % of our GNP, that is news to me. I have heard the 20% figure thrown around as a projection for 2017 and later, but not for today or this year.

    Also, I have yet, to find a complete single published finanical analysis that states assumptions ad flaws in their analysis on the project Care Cost in eight years.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:50 p.m.

  • Lol…… It’s because we’re too healthy and exercise too much… Rush Limbaugh.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:38 p.m.

  • Mike, this is the uh.. real reason for our health care problems:

    June 15, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.

  • I will admit I do not know the quality of VA health care and I am sure it varies but I do know how to read.

    2003, when the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study that compared veterans health facilities on 11 measures of quality with fee-for-service Medicare. On all 11 measures, the quality of care in veterans facilities proved to be ’significantly better.’”
    — “The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a study that compared veterans health facilities with commercial managed-care systems in their treatment of diabetes patients. In seven out of seven measures of quality, the VA provided better care.”
    — “Winning NCQA’s seal of approval is the gold standard in the health-care industry. And who do you suppose this year’s winner is: Johns Hopkins? Mayo Clinic? Massachusetts General? Nope. In every single category, the VHA system outperforms the highest ratings.

    The sources I provided might be wrong but I don’t think so.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:08 p.m.

  • Shadow said “If anyone wants a preview of government sponsored healthcare all they need to do is take a look at the VA. Pathetic!”

    First of all no one is advocating a complete switchover to a government run Health Care System. Second point Medicare and Medicaid are government run systems… Many baby boomers will go into the Medicare System in a few short years.

    Third point: Veterans as a group are older, sicker and poorer, many have mental illness and are drug abusers; yet according to 2004 stats the expenditure per patient was $5,562 per patient as opposed to the private sector patient expenditure of $6,260….
    The stats can be found at the Kaiser Foundation website

    Health Care cost are 20% of our economy with this $ 2.5 trillion cost and climbing… Status quo is not acceptable.

    June 15, 2009 at 3:56 p.m.

  • If anyone wants a preview of government sponsored healthcare all they need to do is take a look at the VA. Pathetic!!

    June 15, 2009 at 3:40 p.m.