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Obama Jumps Into Health Care Fray

Posted on Aug 11, 2009
Obama at health care meeting
AP / Alex Brandon

Step right up: President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting about health care on Tuesday at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

So far, we’ve had the angry protests, the scuffles at suddenly volatile town hall meetings, and no resolution of the health care reform argument from our elected leaders, but President Barack Obama is now embarking on a campaign to try to sway public opinion on the issue using ... a series of town hall meetings across the country.

Update: Obama pointed out on Tuesday that his proposed overhauls of the American health care system will not include government “death panels.”

The Christian Science Monitor:

Polls show that a majority of the US public tends to be skeptical about whether the administration’s healthcare reform efforts personally would help them. So this week Mr. Obama is retaking center stage with a series of town hall meetings partly intended to reinforce the administration’s contention that the healthcare status quo isn’t as solid as it appears.

Insurance premiums are skyrocketing, while people with preexisting medical conditions today are routinely denied coverage, Obama said Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H.

“What is truly scary, what is truly risky, is if we do nothing,” he said.

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By Cheap Auto Insurance 123, September 12, 2011 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

By the way, I’m looking for contributions here:

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By Cheap Auto Insurance 123, September 12, 2011 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

There’s so much to write about these days if you’re an insurance blogger. The industry is too big and to think that it has been there since the beginning of civilization and today we’re practically trying to rebuild the wheel.

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By Phred, January 30, 2010 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s next book title"How to spend 2 Trillion Dollars and Never Create a Job”

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By Heather, August 19, 2009 at 6:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I beleive the Democrats are giving us the classical double talk when it comes to illegal immigrants and the health reform bill.

If I have read correctly the bill does in fact say it will not cover illegal immigrants, but the Democrats removed any part that actually required anyone to determine if the person was an illegal immigrant!

So how do you keep the bill from covering illegal immigrants if you never ask the person if they are an illegal immigrant?

The Democrats have every intention of having this bill cover illegal immigrants, simply by making it so no one ever asks if the persons immigration status!

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By James, August 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our government can’t even run the post office and make a profit. They have bankrupted social security and driven medicare to the brink of bankruptcy by 2017. WHY would I want them in charge of my healthcare?

By time you take out the uninsured illegals and young people who refuse to get insurance we have approximately 12-14 million that are long term uninsured. What gives Obama the right to tear down a healthcare system that covers 280 million people just to cover those 12-14 million?

Furthermore, WHY AM I EXPECTED to pay for the healthcare for all the illegals who don’t even pay taxes? I’m tired of picking up the tab so they can mooch off our system as should every other hard working American who pays their share of taxes.

I’m all for healthcare reform, but governement needs to stay out of it. This gov is getting too big as it is already and it needs to stop. We are all going to be slaves to them soon.

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By Duro, August 13, 2009 at 4:58 am Link to this comment
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Obama is a failure. He has no understanding of the people he was elected to lead. All he has demonstrated thus far is an ability to give speeches. Well, pretty words do not make for meaningful action. Worse, many of the things he promised in his pretty, albeit overly redundant campaign speeches, have come to nothing. There is no transparency in his government. We are still at war and the signs are he will commit even more of our young men and women to it. Health care reform, if it happens at all, will only be a token designed to placate the masses. The man is helpless, and we are all suffering for it, and, as he has often enough said, it’s going to get worse. 2012 is, thankfully, not too far off. Maybe a 3rd party can do something. Obama certainly can’t.

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By truedigger3, August 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

With all that talk about Obama, one thing is obvious which that he has no conviction or passion about any issue.
In any interview, or town hall, no matter how critical or important the question is, he answers with the same , slow, monotone, flat and passionateless voice.
When he talked about the “death panels” in NH, instead of vehemently objecting to the misinformation and false fabrication of that, he went on in his monotone voice saying that he “does not agree with that” without any indignation or even raising his voice even just a little bit.????
This is one example. Another example when he objected to Myrell Lynch huge obscene bonuses just before it collapsed. Exactly the same perfomance.

I don’t think he really want any serious health care “reform”. That “reform” will end up as government give away to insurance companies and medical/pharma complex and the current system will remain with all its problems and shortcomings.

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By Hulk2008, August 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Right on, ROGER !! 
But, Dear Elaine, just because there are 46 million UNinsured doesn’t mean they are not getting any healthcare.  Those are the folks who wait until they get gangrene from a wound or incurable cancer from a mole to show up at the emergency room ... or, worse yet, go to the emergency room for the sniffles.  Hospitals and physicians are bound to treat them - it’s the law and their sacred oath to do so - and darned expensive to the system when they fail to get early treatment. 
We already have “government run” health care systems - the VA, the medics in the Armed Forces, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security payments to the disabled, Social Security benefits for orphans and minors, and the panorama of 23 plans that members of Congress get .... all at taxpayer expense. 
The problem is two-fold:  1.  there is truly NO wellness coverage in any plan - our “system” is a fee-for-service-only arrangement 2.  Hospitals and physicians have become contracted outsourced entities of the Private insurance companies, where CLERKS and “networks” and labyrinthian contracts decide all treatment (RATTIONING) instead of medical experts.  As a 4-year USAF veteran, I got the best medical care available, as did my family.  Even Bill Cristol on The Daily Show admitted that service members deserve AND GET the best medical ..... you guessed it .... from The Government.  It didn’t scare me in the 60’s and it doesn’t scare me now. 
  “We The People” deserve the best.

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 12, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SINGLE PAYER is the best solution.
Public Option may have to do.
Status Quo will cost Baby Boomers years of life and way too much money.
This reform needs to START before the end of this year.
This need not be a set in stone solution. Let our elected officials earn their keep by continuing to reform health care until our quality of care improves to match other industrial nations.
To those gullible souls who disrupt town hall meetings. Grow some manners!The grow some brains, the crap you are spreading is insurance/pharmacutical/HMO propaganda. Their only goal in all of this is to make sure that you pay as much as possible whether you get quality care or not. Ask yourselves this “In return for my defending the health care system currently in place will that system be as loyal to me?” Good luck staying healthy it may be your only defense.

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By Elaine, August 12, 2009 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A federally run plan would drive insurance companies, hospitals and doctors into bankruptcy, leaving only the government to provide coverage, often called single payer system.

When Obama adds 50 million new patients into the government system, it will likely collapse Medicare, causing massive rationing of healthcare to people who paid taxes all their lives.

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By LostHills, August 12, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

The insurance companies are working both sides of this. They’re stirring up the Republicans and buying off the Democrats. Single Payer was dead the minute the Democrats nominated Obama. The fight now is whether we’re going to have some sort of “public option” and if so, how weak it’s going to be. The insurance companies and drug companies have control over both houses of congress, both parties and the whitehouse. They have already won, and the American people have already lost. I know that some folks are still trying to believe in Obama. I suggest that they take off the rose colored glasses and start reading the news.

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By oldhip, August 12, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Here Are Those That Are…

“Telling It Like It Is In Reality, Not As We Hope It is.”

Please… Enjoy your reality…

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By Sepharad, August 11, 2009 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

Obama is probably as stupefied as I am by the noisy opponents to a single-payer public option being conned by the insurance/drug/ama syndicate into slitting their own throats by shouting down the few government agents of change we have. I’m not yet convinced that Obama is being corrupted rather than buried by the avalanche of monied status quo monsters. I also think the same reactionaries would be thwarting a President Nader.

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By samosamo, August 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

What can one say about a sellout that in his campaign sided on the ‘single-payer’ health care plan but now thinks it better to cut the insurance companies in on that piece of the pie for no real good reason except more enrichment of the few from the many who really can’t afford such a ‘jacked up’ plan and being pushed by a ‘jacked up’ president?

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By coloradokarl, August 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

I am one the people that need some sort of reform. 49 year old working for a company that has only 3 employees (the limit is 5 for a group plan) and no hope of an employee benifit. If I buy insurance that is any good it is about $350 per month and I can save about $400 right now if I scrimp. I do not have the energy to march on Washington or any where else for that matter and refuse to work for nothing (savings are something) I do pay about $6000 in taxes Hmmmm??.... Maybe I CAN make the current system work, Interesting…..

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, August 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

This event today (8/11/09) was staged in front of a carefully screened audience of Obama supporters.  It was much more reminiscent of a campaign rally than a town hall meeting.  At one point the attendees started chanting “Yes we can, yes we can”, a familiar campaign slogan.  (I’m assuming that Bill O’Reilly’s veins were throbbing on his forehead during that part).

This is the first time I’ve heard Obama flat out say that he has never supported single payer.  That’s not what he said on other occasions; it’s too bad when you have to go to Breitbart to get the facts on this little detail.

His description of how the “public option” works/would work is full of vagaries.  Mostly it consisted of things it WON’T do, rather than things it will do.  It won’t change the current insurance system except to regulate it in ways favorable to consumers (such as forcing companies to take customers regardless of pre-existing conditions).  The public option is supposed to be competitive but I’ve already read that Obama has cut a deal with the drug companies to fix drug prices.  I will try to link the article if I can find it… I think it was HuffPo as reported by WaPo.

I still plan to work on organizing national general strikes for single payer, so if you can help with this please contact me.


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