Comments


  • No matter what is passed the "reforms" won't take effect until 2013 - after the 2012 election. How convenient.

    A healthcare plan cobbled together by Congress is bound to fail. When Medicare and Medicaid started they cost about $8 billion per year. This year they will cost $700 billion. That does not include the healthcare costs dumped on the states.

    This proposal will greatly expand our government with over 50 new agencies. Filled with bureaucrats pulling down $120,000 a year on average in salary and benefits. The average worker in the private sector makes $60,000 per year.

    This behemoth is not sustainable, it is not sustainable - we will founder and collapse under this burden. It is complete madness.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:27 p.m.

  • The Democrats will get a new Senator today...It is rumored that Paul Kirk (D- Massachusetts)will take Ted Kennedy's spot on an interim basis.

    September 23, 2009 at 4:48 p.m.

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    September 23, 2009 at 4:22 p.m.

  • Yep,the people are catching on...I saw where a Kansas Republican congressman drew laughs from the audience when he tried to say Democratic health proposals would “determine what every doctor in America will make.”.... Eric Cantor was asked for the GOP proposal in a town hall meeting..One asked him "where's the beef?"

    People have already separated the bs...Except the ones that never wanted reform in the first place.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:43 p.m.

  • Sort of like when Congress had such low ratings, but it was Republicans that lost their seats, so who exactly does the public hold responsible for this healthcare fiasco?
    I feel that the Republicans are in for a big surprise if they think they are hearing from "most Americans". Walk softly and carry a big stick brings on a whole new meaning.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:33 p.m.

  • Sandwichh
    You cannot educate yourself if you think just conservative ideas are the only ones worth listening to. Calling the mainstream media, propaganda, just tells me that you need a mirror on your monitor because you cannot see your bias.

    No one can deny that Republicans do not want any part of health care reform because they have never demonstrated that in their long history…. They have always been against Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Health care reform was not even on the radar eight years ago.

    President Barack Obama’s door has always been open for a reasonable intelligent ideas,not the same failed policies that got us into this mess, instead the trusted “Gang of Six” members like Republican Chuck Grassley pushed the idea of “Death Panels and admitted he was only try to slow down the bill until the August recess. Another said he never had any intention of voting for health care reform but what just on a panel to put in Republican ideas.

    ~564 more amendments have been added to the Baucus bill since Monday, many from Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch’s amendment called for eliminating the excise tax for states that started with you the letter U. (Utah). Senator John Ensign of Nevada amendment called for replacing the “fee” with “tax” in every portion in the bill… Senator’s Kyl and McConnell are looking into the constitutionality of mandates.(After all this time)..

    Today's NBC/Wall Street Journal poll stated that:
    39% thought that the current heath care plan was great
    41% disagreed…. leaving and 20% undecided.
    37 % of those respondents said that they would blame the GOP if health care reform did not pass…16% would blame the Democrats, 10% would blame Obama, 23% would blame all those involved, and the rest did not know.

    Republicans are gambling that health care reform will be Obama's Waterloo, in the upcoming 2010 election as it was Clinton’s in 1993-4…We shall see.


    September 23, 2009 at 2:28 p.m.

  • Barrack Husseing Obama has not invited the Repub's to talk about Health Care Reform since April. So it is easy to say they have no ideas when you don't talk to them.

    Conservative ideas on Health Insurance Reform, we do not need health care reform, is all over the net. Except progressive sites, main stream rating sinking networks......etc.

    Here are excellent sites with real to the point ideas and corrections to the propaganda handed out.

    You cannot educate yourself about what is on these sites and still call the mainstream propaganda correct.

    http://fixhealthcarepolicy.com/
    http://www.heritage.org/LeadershipFor...
    http://www.healthtransformation.net/

    September 23, 2009 at 1:51 p.m.

  • Speechfree

    I agree with your analysis but doctors are going into the specialty field because of the money. We are losing the primary care physicians.

    The medical field will expand because we cannot outsource doctors’ nurses and other health care practitioners.

    I think our government should be able to buy drugs in bulk like they do for the VA and pass along the savings but the administration has already made a deal with the devil(Big Pharma) for $80 billion, making sure that will not happen.

    September 23, 2009 at 10:14 a.m.

  • Suzy

    Thank you for providing that link… It sounds like a plan to privatize Medicare in the future but I can see some benefits of a plan like that…. I don't see it as a trust fund but more like an entitlement, such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

    For the past four months I have been leaning toward the Wyden-Bennett bill that features a choice for consumers, like no other…. It lets the consumer choose among the 1,300 companies that offer insurance much like the insurance plan the legislators have…. I can see where “healthcare” would come under the interstate clause. It would break up the monopolies; the insurance companies have in some states. Senator Wyden said he had legislation ready to incorporate the public option, if needed.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=674

    September 23, 2009 at 9:58 a.m.

  • newearth

    That’s true,Dems & the GOP raise taxes.

    Last night he senators were arguing about the meaning of the word “tax.” in the Senate finance bill… the Democrats want to call it a fee, and the Republicans say the bill specifically calls it an “excise tax.”… The Democrats said they could change it using the word replace feature in Microsoft Word. When we are paying our bills at the end of the month and we see a $40 increase, do we really care if it is a fee or a tax? It's like our old phone bills that had a list of confusing charges and fees.

    I saw that article about McAllen, Texas and the same holds true for New Jersey having higher insurance rates than a state like Utah

    September 23, 2009 at 9:41 a.m.

  • That's kind of where they lost me too. It's like the lottery profits going to schools, and then getting put everywhere else.
    It would only work if it was placed in a locked box, but government usually doesn't work that way.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:49 a.m.

  • It sounds very promising, I liked the government removed from it as far as possible - they are the reason things are as screwed up as they are.

    The one thing that sounds a little shaky is the "national healthcare account." It sounds like a trust fund and we all know about those - the "funds" are gone and replaced with IOU's.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:46 a.m.

  • What do you think about this. Sounds interesting up to a point.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090922/...

    September 23, 2009 at 8:06 a.m.

  • My solution is to open the floodgates of free enterprise. Nurse practitioners and even bachelor level physicians assistance should be allowed to practice with full public disclosure of their credentials. Medical schools should be nearly as plentiful as star bucks and set up like job core. We should be able to buy medications from Mexico, Canada, and any where else in the world at are own risk. And if the government is paying for the medicine they should be able to buy in quantity like Wal Mart does getting the best price and leaving Walgreen's and the like 100% profit margin of the table using mail order. Sure tort reform might help but Texas has it and have you seen any price reductions ? No just larger profit margins.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:17 a.m.

  • I've also been reading that the rise in healthcare is partly due to a substantial rise in construction in the last few years. We see it locally with all of the new construction in Victoria hospitals and clinics, and in Jackson County, where I live.
    In the past, certain machines were available in regional areas and people had to travel to get tests done. Now, most hospitals are building new wings to hold all the new gadgets, even though there aren't enough patients to support the costs. They are gambling on more patients in the future staying locally to do the tests. Of course, costs will rise when that kind of construction is going on and those machines are being bought...not to mention all the extra personel that are needed to run those machines, and do the extra testing.
    Now, take the uninsured going to ER rooms in the same hospitals where all of these new machines are. Unnecessary testing is going on, where before, those tests were not immediately available, so doctors were not so ready to order them on the spot. They had more of a wait and see attitude then.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:55 p.m.

  • Mike,

    it wasn't totally debunked as you say, I check factcheck, she had a increase in salary, from 121,000 to 317,000, that e-mail in part was correct.

    My point for the early post, was because of the reason we need tort reform, and the Dems rattle the cages of med/ins, she is part of the problem of high cost meds..

    September 22, 2009 at 7 p.m.

  • Both parties have lied about tax increases, McAllen Tx has the honors of all US cities where doctors are charging more per patient then any city anywhere! The details of McAllen are seen across the nation and even here in Victoria. Insurance companies rates increase while more and more people lose their policies. What ever shape the health reform comes in, everyone will pay, rich or poor, while recieving less medical care, there are two many examples to compare with.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:44 p.m.

  • Michelle also implemented a "patient dumping" scheme for reducing hospital costs - so much for the hypocrite's, uh...er, hippocratic oath.

    And Mike is right (again!) health care reform will not add a dime to the deficit at least not until after the 2012 election.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:32 p.m.

  • Itisi,BTW that chain e-mail was debunked by Factcheck.org

    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/mich...

    I know Fackcheck is bias..LOL

    September 22, 2009 at 6:02 p.m.

  • itisi
    I have no idea about the relevancy of your posting. Was it because you did not want ti go through the trouble of writing your own blog?

    I think before you accuse some one of being crooked ,you should be required to produce actual proof..That story is old and was brought out in the last campaign.

    Got to go.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:58 p.m.

  • At the top right hand corner of Page 17 of the New York Post of January 24th, 2009, was a short column entitled "Replacing Michelle" in the National Review "The Week" column. So here it is, word for word, as it appeared:

    Some employees are simply irreplaceable. Take Michelle Obama: The University
    of Chicago Medical center hired her in 2002 to run "programs for community
    relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and
    minority contracting".

    In 2005 the hospital raised her salary from $120,000 to $317,000 - nearly
    twice what her husband made as a Senator.

    Oh did we mention that her husband had just become a US Senator? He sure
    Had. Requested a $1 million earmark for the UC Medical Center, in fact.

    Way to network Michelle!

    But now that Mrs. Obama has resigned, the hospital says her position will
    remain unfilled. How can that be, if the work she did was vital enough to be
    worth $317,000?

    Let me add that Michelle's position was a part time, 20 hour a week job. And
    to think they were critical of Blagoyovich's wife for taking $100,000 in
    fuzzy real estate commission.

    My thoughts: How did this bit of quid pro quo corruption escape the sharp
    Reporters that dug through Sarah Palin's garbage and kindergarten files?

    September 22, 2009 at 5:49 p.m.

  • LBJ,please.... JFK escalated the war with his advisers to Vietnam,dropping in the lap of LBJ....I just heard the president say that he was not a big fan of long conflicts. He does not like open-ended.. What is your suggestion?

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 p.m.

  • A note on Afghanistan, the President better step up to plate on this war, because he is starting to look just like LBJ.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:28 p.m.

  • itisi
    I know you don't let facts get in the way of your opinions but only 2% of the patients injured by medical negligence; file malpractice claims for an average of $326,931 a claim....Yeah, the trial lawyers are Democratic donors but the health care industry lobbyists pads the GOP.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

  • John
    Today the Mayo Clinic endorsed the public option..An endorsement from that prestigious clinic should be huge.... What is the difference between liberal bull and conservative bull? a choice of bull:-)

    September 22, 2009 at 5:15 p.m.

  • The health-care reform template has been around for years, so it does not take a genius to fill in the blanks to the current problems…. When the healthcare industry is paying $1.4 million a day and the fact that the opposition party decides to make any attempt to reform health care, Obama’s Waterloo, are some problems that have not been mentioned.. Did I leave out misinformation?
    The health an insurance company’s just shuffles paper ,that is their only function…. They don’t do a thing to improve health care….

    I don't think many people will attend the insurance company pity party. They have been denying benefits, overcharging, and rationing health care to increase their bottom line,far too long.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:09 p.m.

  • Health care should be thought of as a commodity, but a commodity like water and food. It is an essential commodity, plain and simple. To those that argue it is socialism to try and control medical cost, consider this.

    If we were to fully embrace biofuels it would lead to higher cost for many types of food; both for human and live stock consumption. The average American consumer could not afford to purchase food, in open competition with both live stock and industrial use.

    Do we just let those that can't afford it starve?

    If we were to open up the food gates across this country on "the sale of water". The same thing would happpen, in fact I attended a deliberative forum that addressed that very question.

    Do we let those that can't afford it die of thirst?

    Health care is an essential commodity, because it is unavoidable; and when needed is essential to sustain life.

    Mark my words today, "How you address healthcare reform, may be the blue print to how we deal with water and biofuel markets".

    The "balls", if anyone has any anymore, is this! We either deal with this now, and right; or pay for it down the road. We deregulated the finance industry and see where that took us. The healthcare industry will follow suit, if we do not address it properly NOW!

    We may have a "wet behind" the Big ears president, my godson has big ears so I'm not going to be to hard, but both Republicans and Democrats need to Man up and get it done.

    Those that try to push some liberal bull along with this, and those that do not sign their john handcock on a decent reform bill; will be held accountable.

    That is all I'm going to say about this, bulling punches is over, life an't everything we want; we are men, we deal with it!

    That goes for the women, some have bigger balls than most men.

    God bless America, and put a fire under everyones arse.

    Get er done, end.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:03 p.m.

  • Those caps were placed by the state. Under federal tort reform that would be a whole new basket of eggs. But the Dems will not go for any type of tort reform, to many trial attorneys are in the hip pockets of the Dems.

    I disagree with you on the President comment about the deficit. He has gone too far to turn back on his health care issues, he has a lot invested. Although he may have said he would like to get re-elected. I think he will be a one term President.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:47 p.m.

  • What is the solution? That is what we hire our legislators to do. If they are too incompetent to meet our needs, then they need to be fired. And we have a huge incompetent lot in office right now.

    But for the fun of it:
    Ask ourselves, what is health insurance, what is its function, its business model, its profits?

    The purpose of health insurance is to cover the substantial portion of medical costs, both in regular routine visits and minor illness, and also catastrophic care. This means that the annual cost of insurance must, at a minimum, cover 100% of routine/minor medical costs, plus 100% of the cost of overhead and administering the plan, plus a pro-rata portion of catastrophic costs (based on some actuarial estimate of the rate of occurrence (i.e.: odds of need, if you will).

    On top of this, as this is a "for profit" business, the company will desire to achieve a reasonable rate of return for its shareholders (or it will loose its capitalization). This can be likened to a "cost of funds". Insurance companies are not a high return business, with net profits at something to the tune of 3-4%.
    http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/522.html
    That is about the long term historic return on a 1 yr CD. Point being, insurance companies are not the high profit industry they are being falsely pegged as and provide what many investors would call a substandard return.

    In this overly simplistic approach, what effect does this have on their business model? Well, as the goal is profitability, and in consideration that medical insurance is a highly regulated industry and subject to much litigation, the ability to improve profits by reducing costs (i.e.: payment of ever increasing medical costs) is severely limited. Its only recourse then becomes increasing premiums. In order to stay afloat, these premium increase must equal those increases in medical costs, which originate from the medical service provider.

    (continued below)

    September 22, 2009 at 4:42 p.m.

  • (continued from above)

    There in lies the core issue, the rampant inflation of medical service costs.

    To blame the ever increasing medical costs on the insurance company is somewhat akin to blaming the rape victim because she dressed too risqué.

    So what is the cause of medical inflation (above and beyond general inflation)?

    The most material reasons are:
    * Medical service providers having to bill insurance and other paying customers to make up the loss incurred by uninsured people (of which illegals are a material portion) who obtain the vast portion of their medical needs at high cost emergency rooms, and then stiff the hospital for the bill.
    * Duplicative and unnecessary treatments, often as a means for the medical service providers to profiteer at worse, or to avoid a malpractice suit at least.
    * The US citizen supplementing the cost of drugs and other medical advances to the rest of the world. There is a reason meds in Canada, Europe, Mexico, India, etc are cheap, because the difference is made up in what they can charge Americans.
    * Massive amounts of waste and inefficiencies in the medical industry.

    It would seem obvious that the place to start is to address the above issues. To date, the best Congress has provided is approaching the first issue, which is an absolute minimum. Albeit, their focus is much too limited (ie: the problem of the uninsured reaches into other areas, for example: immigration reform, and cannot be addressed as a “stand-alone” issue).

    Tort reform is required, audits of medical providers are needed, and a cessation of pandering to big pharma and insist on a level playing field as it come to meds is an absolute necessity.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:41 p.m.

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    September 22, 2009 at 4:39 p.m.

  • itisi

    I know you probably don't like Howard Dean but he was honest when he said the, the committee did not want to anger another special interest group as the reason tort reform was not in the bill. What is it about 33 states already having caps on “pain and suffering” yet health care premiums are still rising in those states. Malpractice premium make up less than 1% of US health care spending.

    Some governors might use the 10th amendment to bar interstate buying of health insurance. A few states have already passed legislation to prevent their citizens participating in a “public option” citing their states rights… This president is on the record,saying that any bill that he signs will not add one dime to deficit, now or in the future….He is a politician that wants to get reelected; I'm sure he knows what happened to George H. W.Bush when he did not keep his” no new taxes pledge.”

    September 22, 2009 at 4:20 p.m.

  • Barry
    I agree but they are interconnected including the VA…. Electronic record-keeping, excessive use of the ER, the high cost of prescription drugs and machines, Medicare advantage subsidies, portability and preexisting conditions must be brought in to a reform plan before tackling Social Security and Medicare.... I like your analogy but I think health care reform is the foundation.

    I think Social Security and Medicare reform should be handled by a bipartisan committee before allowing it to go to a partisan Congress, where we will have politics instead of solutions. I do see your point.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:03 p.m.

  • Tort Reform

    That is a good start, when companies compete prices fall. It just basic economics based on volume. But the Dems don’t like tort reform, because in a malpractice suit they do not want caps on any settlements.

    10th amendment not an issue, since when has congress paid any attention to the constitution Dems or Repub?

    Medicaid/Medicare

    Two systems that are in trouble, one for the poor the other we are entitled to, because we pay for it. The President wants a health care system that we can’t pay for and will most certainly add to the deficit no way around it. I think we should just clean up what we have. Medicaid, start charging fees, at least they can show their paying into the system, slow down that cost to the tax payer. (IMO)

    September 22, 2009 at 3:54 p.m.

  • I think the government should first concentrate on overhauling Medicare and Social Security and making sure that these already existing programs remain viable in the future. Then, when that is properly done, concentrate on healthcare reform, which is definitely necessary. To try so hard to pass a healthcare program now, while these other programs are in dire need of repair, is akin to adding a new roof to your home and ignoring the leaking plumbing and rotting framing.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:51 p.m.

  • Tort reform usually means writing a law that exempts someone from having to pay damages for their negligence. I am amazed at how the insurance companies manipulate and co-opt ordinary people to do things against their own self interest.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:33 p.m.

  • Since I do not get my financial news from Glenn Beck, I was not aware that the clown actually has an opinion on economics. I found a vid clip where he was questioning David Buckner of Columbia about the shenanigans of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, it was more like he was getting schooled than making a credible accusation.…Did Glenn Beck enlighten the world; don't think so... The professor was not exactly agreeing with his assessment.

    You don't really have to listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck because they will say things that are so outrageous, just to get on the evening news.
    I guess Charles Krauthammer is a communist because he didn't think it was such a big deal...BTW the cold -war ended several years ago..No need for McCarthyism…A commie behind every tree… The 1950s all over again..lol

    September 22, 2009 at 3:30 p.m.

  • Dr's. may have left States once before, but where are they going to go if it is nation-wide...overseas?

    Buying insurance accross state lines will not solve the problem of insurance company greed and corruption, nor will it address the problem that people have who get dropped from their insurance after paying years for the policy, if they "dare" to get sick. Insurance companies need to be held accountable for unfair practices. Nothing else will do. Breaking the monopolies, and having competition is a must.
    I would like to see government clinics open up to handle the ER users so that ER's can concentrate on emergencies. It would be a lot cheaper to hire a dr. asst. to evaluate patients in a hospital room equipped for that reason, treat what they can, and they send patients to ER is necessary. The county clinics that are open now cannot handle the volumn and they are not open after hours.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:28 p.m.

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    September 22, 2009 at 3:11 p.m.

  • Again Mikey you are right a communist would not seem too radical to a socialist - my mistake.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:52 p.m.

  • Rollingstone
    What you don't know, you'll make up or try to spice it up with sarcasm.

    I never said anything about single-payer universal health care; it doesn't have a chance pass in the House or Senate… It's not even on the radar.

    I did say a $200,000 malpractice policy and practicing defensive medicine was a concern…I also said I could see a compromise.

    Radical is subjective….. I didn't say anything about Bernanke or the Fed…. That's a subject you want to discuss.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:42 p.m.

  • Yeah Mike, you're right nothing else will work except single payer universal health care. Tort reform won't do anything. I remember before 2003 when Texas passed tort reform many doctors in obstetrics and anesthesiology were leaving the state along with many surgeons.

    They were leaving because of the high cost of malpractice insurance a critical shortage was developing - but what the hell who cares about that, we don't need no stinking doctors.

    And you ask "will insurance across state lines make it cheaper?" And I ask will universal health care be cheaper? Which would be easier to reverse if there were unintended consequences?

    And about Glen Beck he is kind of a clown - he admits it. But is he wrong about the radical people surrounding our President? Is he wrong about how Bernacke lied to Congress when he said the Fed was not monetizing the debt?

    September 22, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.

  • Since "Hope" is merely a wish;I cannot but we do have different players and this time around our economic crisis demands it. I add this, The Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs from the largest U.S. companies, warned in a report released Sept. 15 that annual health-care costs for businesses will rise 166% over the next decade, to nearly $29,000 per employee....We will not be able to sustain that on the individual level and it would continue to be a sticking point in our trade deficits..... As the president likes to say "status quo is not an option."

    September 22, 2009 at 1:46 p.m.

  • If people could only afford it..... I don't know many people that can afford paying cash for catastrophic illnesses, a heart attack or the expensive MRI and CRTs.

    The use of the ER by the insured is paid for by the insured to the tune of ~$1,100 a year.

    I agree, the last Senate Finance Health Care Reform is just another subsidy to the insurance companies but I am hopeful that a true reform bill that will cut costs, will eventually pass. :-)

    September 22, 2009 at 1:26 p.m.