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The Missing Health Care Debate

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Posted on Oct 5, 2009
AP / Jae C. Hong

Ellen Geiger, 56, makes a spectacle of herself at a town hall meeting in Alhambra, Calif. There has been much debate in recent months, but it has been directed at a very narrow array of proposals. No one is arguing about the kind of tough regulation that might actually make a difference.

By Bill Boyarsky

(Page 2)

Not much of this was heard during the Senate Finance Committee deliberations on the health insurance reform bill. The insurance industry got its way and is now engaged in backroom talks to fine-tune the deal.

There was no discussion of the best solution, Medicare for all, the single-payer system. Anyone proposing that now is considered a wacko, far out of the Washington mainstream.

In the absence of such a sensible plan, regulation has to be the answer.

Without strong regulation, the companies will find ways to get around requirements of the law. For example, the reform legislation is promising guarantees that the companies can no longer refuse to sell policies because of patients’ prior health conditions or drop the ill from their rolls. The insurance companies will undoubtedly try to find loopholes in those guarantees. And even though their revenues will increase thanks to millions of new policyholders, including the healthy, they will find excuses for rate increases.

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President Obama foresees reason to celebrate if he signs a health insurance bill this year. But a new law must impose strong regulation on the insurance industry or a consumer backlash could soon sour his victory, a reaction that would extend from the well-off to the working poor.

Bill Boyarsky’s new book is “Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times.”


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By KDelphi, October 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Yes, please get some more Dems to endorse HR 676, someday, when they get around to it, after they win a second term and everyone in DC is a democrat. Then they will. Maybe. With modifications.

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By MarthaA, October 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Single Payer Health Care HR676

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYnadAE685o

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By Leefeller, October 9, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

BBFmail, your comment seems to support insurance rhetorical pandering “Recently, there have also been reports of long waiting times for medical diagnostic tests and procedures in England, Canada and other countries which have socialized medicine.” seems most contributory to what insurance companies want us to believe. Read Ernesto Cadrington’s post below which I have included for your convenience. He and several others have posted on this thread, seems contradictory to your comments.

Ignorance and lies permeating for the pro insurance side seems nothing more than swift yachting protecting insurance cash cows.

Why do I perceive your clinc comment as rouge.

Below

Ernesto Cadrington, October 6 at 5:28 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a working Canadian and I’m sick and tired of hearing distorted information being spread by certain members of your special interest groups when trying to make their political point (s). I’ve watched ads on CNN by an-out-of shape woman claiming to be a doctor. In her ad she is ‘Swift Boating’ the Canada’s health care system in trying to make her point. We in Canada are totally satisfied with our system. The only ones who are dissatisfied with our system are the insurance moguls and hypocritical doctors who have abandoned their Hippocratic Oath in trying to cure the sick but instead aiming to become millionaires first in their positions as doctors. The insurance companies had their run of the system here until we the voters booted them out. Like yours, they were not interested in curing the sick; they were only interested in making money off the sick. We smartened up. We pay the doctors through our taxes. There is no middle man.  Pre-existing conditions or not we all have coverage. You people in the US spend your money on the wrong things, unfortunately, not on the betterment of your citizens….. According to some of your ‘Swift boat’ colleagues, Canada’s system is bad, England’s system is bad, the system in France is bad, the system in Germany is bad. Only your NON working system is good, where one quarter of your population cannot afford to become sick.  Canadians are among the healthiest people in the world and we are all covered. Thanks.

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By BBFmail, October 9, 2009 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Unlike poster thebeerdoctor…..  I am more interested in increasing the number of clinics that are now available for persons w/o insurance and limited finances, than worrying about who makes what income.  Of course, anyone has the right to object to anyone’s salary.  Personally, I think that members of Congress are greatly overpaid.  I would hope that Congress could somehow find time during their 2 1/2 day work week to provide funding to increase the number of Safety-net hospitals as well as local clinics…and not “throw the baby out with the bathwater”!!!

Secondly, and I do repeat.. it would seem from reports over the years…that those who have socialized medicine in their own countries and happen to have the monetary means…come to the USA for serious medical procedures and operations.  Recently, there have also been reports of long waiting times for medical diagnostic tests and procedures in England, Canada and other countries which have socialized medicine. What about the polls which report that 70- 75% of Americans are happy w/the health insurance programs they have now??? 

Why does no one mention (http://www.BlackAgendaReport) that the new congressional proposed system is programed not to take effect until 2013?????

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By thebeerdoctor, October 9, 2009 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

re: BBFmail

I really don’t think there is much to say about this. You seem to operate from the assumption that this malevolent system which allows executive compensation to the tune of of $ 57 thousand an hour is worth saving, I do not.
Clever arguments seem to always be deployed to justify the inexcusable.

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By KDelphi, October 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

C. Curtis Dillon—Yeah, i saw Keith’s sob scene, and I did cry—then I stopped and thought, “He’s endorisng that f*cking public options again! Shame!”

I didnt get a show to cry on when my dad died in a Hospice in the Bronx. At least Keith’s dad got real care.

Blackspeare—your ideas would not be compromises—they would be 100 million times better than anything proposed. Hell, no insurance indusrty and paying out of pocket—with some free care required—would be better than what the Senate Finance Comm is proposing!
I would like to ask one thing—why do people always have to mention canada and the uK (which are alot better than US—check stats) instead of the Netherlands or DENmark—because they have an AGENDA.

Corporations are simply masters at convincing the masses that, anything that cuts into their profits, would be a negation of their “friidom of choice”—what utter bullshit.

I CHOOSE for no more USAns to DIE every 12 minutes….or , as they say in fetal mania—choose LIFE!

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By PatrickHenry, October 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

By Blackspeare, October 8 at 7:44 pm #

Sounds like a great compromise to me.

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By Blackspeare, October 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

In the beginning When FDR followed by HST could not get a health care package passed this led the way for insurance companies to fill the void and gain a foothold.  In the early days of the AFL-CIO and later on with the UAW, collective bargaining led to benefits inclusions rather than pay raises and one of those benefit was employer based health insurance.  At that time it was more economical to provide health insurance than an across the board pay raise.  However, that was shortsighted and we know what happened.  But in the meantime with employers providing health coverage, the health insurance took off and now we reach today.  Every entity involved in providing health care is a profit making business.  From the insurance companies to the hospital to the physicians to the drug industry——each one tacks on a profit and voila——very expensive health care.  The remedy is simple.  1) Hospitals should be non-profit——that is they make enough to pay salaries and maintain the facilities.  2)Doctors providing in-hospital care should be salaried.  Several hospitals in the US already operate like that namely the Mayo Clinic.  3) Some sort of a quasi-public option is needed for those people who cannot obtain insurance for whatever reason.  4) Regulate the insurance industry so that it cannot exclude people because of pre-conditions and/or expensive procedures.  5) Establish a limit of the percentage of household income that can go for medical health and reimburse those who exceed this limit through the IRS.  By reimbursing people a true public option may not be needed: however, the insurance industry will have to be close monitored to avoid windfalls.

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By Leefeller, October 8, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Louise, comprehensive post worth reading thanks.

“Bottom line: As long as politicians see their service as a career opportunity and Health Care Insurance Corporations see their service as a profit opportunity, things can only get worse. Not a particularly pleasant observation.”

One thing comparing politicians to the Dons, seems not fair to the Dons for they had integrity.

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By BBFmail, October 8, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, October 7 at 10:40 pm #

re: BBFmail

Corporate run Health Insurance programs are not as great as you or they would have us to believe.
Concerned about cost overruns when the governments buys medical equipment? Perhaps you should research what actually takes place over at the Pentagon.

re: thebeerdoctor

If the Pentagon wastes money (as it does)...does that mean that it’s OK for money to be wasted in the Medicare Program also???  If you and I know and have known for years about the problems with the Pentagon, and other government agencies, why is it that, Congress still does nothing?  Maybe part of the problem, as reported recently, is that members of congress work usually no more than 2 1/2 days a week….also it doesn’t help us that some of the biggest contributors to our congresspersons are the same ones who are actually ripping us off…at the Pentagon and at the Medicare Program. 

Secondly, it would seem from reports over the years…that those who have socialized medicine in their own countries and happen to have the monetary means…come to the USA for serious medical procedures and operations.  Recently, there have also been reports of long waiting times for medical diagnostic tests and procedures in England, Canada and other countries which have socialized medicine.  Here in MN we have clinics where payment is made based on income (no income, no charge) and there are also hospitals that are called “Safety-Net Hospitals”....that get federal and state money to take care of those w/o insurance.  Why not start here and increase the number of clinics and Safety-net hospitals instead to destroying the whole system.

Why does no one mention (http://www.BlackAgendaReport) that the new congressional proposed system is programed not to take effect until 2013?????

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By Louise, October 8, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

Perhaps had we never had Medicare, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now.

Health Care Insurance Corporations never would have devised ways to latch on to it and skim the cream off the top. Hospitals and clinics would have found other ways to keep the doors open and cover the overhead. People in rural or very poor areas that couldn’t support the cost of a hospital or clinic would have traveled for care. New Doctors opening a practice would have gone where the greatest number of people who can pay could be found. The very poor, and rural would have either had to find a way to pay for and support their own doctor, or move. Or die.

But there would have been an upside. We wouldn’t be sitting here talking about the blood-sucking leaches called Health Care Insurance providers, ‘cause everybody knows, Corporate doesn’t go where Corporate cant pump up their bottom line.

We wouldn’t be worried about preserving the status quo, because the status quo, higher death rates, lower birth rates, discrimination against the poor, and an endless stream of sick, sicker and dead would be accepted as normal, even without the Health Care Insurance providers.

But thats not to say Medicare wasn’t, isn’t a good idea. It is and was a very good idea. So what happened?

Corporations happened!

If Medicare was free to operate absent private interference, private profit and private Incorporated blood-sucking leaches, the only thing we’d have to worry about would be the occasional crooked and corrupt politician. And we’ll always have a few of them around. In fact, it’s hard to decide which group is most responsible for the mess we’re in. I guess we could call them equal opportunity partners in crime.

So what to do.

Well seems to me the first thing we need to do is seal shut all those loopholes in Medicare that Corporate slithers through. Then we need to eliminate the current batch of politicians who never saw a Corporation they didn’t favor over the people who put them there. Then we need to go back to, and tighten up the laws governing Insurance, and Corporate behaviour in general. Course that will be tough, since there are as many attorneys looking for a way to make a name for themselves as their are lobbyists looking for a crack in the door, probably more.

While I’m at it, it would be unfair to not mention how different things were back when Insurance Corporations and Big Pharma were not allowed to own and operate Medical Schools, Hospitals and Clinics. But that again, is because down through the years we keep re-electing corrupt politicians.

Bottom line: As long as politicians see their service as a career opportunity and Health Care Insurance Corporations see their service as a profit opportunity, things can only get worse. Not a particularly pleasant observation.

So the simple and most obvious solution has to be,
we do away with Health Care Insurance altogether!

Sign everybody up for Medicare, disallowing any and all private Insurance Corp.‘s access to, or use of any of those funds. And then, we really need to go after Big Pharma. $200,00 for a $4.00 tube of ointment is criminal! Reminds me of the Mafia practice of smashing in a window, then taking money to provide protection.

Where did all those Dons go anyway? Maybe they incorporated, or became professional politicians.

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By troto, October 8, 2009 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

There is no real debate on health care because we don’t have health care.  We
have corporate controlled government and media, and we the so called citizens
are left to fend for ourselves.  I have a simple solution to this health care crisis. 
We close all the US Military bases outside the borders, we end the production of
nuclear bombs, and we end the corporate control the media.  I know these are far
out ideas, but it blows my mind that nobody even considers the idea that we are
in this situation because we are more interested in the profit of destruction
instead of humanity.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 8, 2009 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

I have one request of all ... watch Keith Olbermann’s countdown program from last night (Wednesday)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/

Before some of you roll your eyes and say “liberal”, this program is not about right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal or Repub vs. Dem.  It is a son talking about his very ill father, a man talking about friends who have been destroyed by the “health industry”.  It is an unbiased but passionate look at the system we have and where it will be if we don’t get serious about fixing it.  You may not like Keith but this is one show all of you should see.  It is the most coherent analysis of the existing mess I’ve seen.  It will make you cry (even Keith clouds up several times).  Take an hour and just listen ... you will not be the same afterwards.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 7, 2009 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

re: BBFmail

Corporate run Health Insurance programs are not as great as you or they would have us to believe.
Concerned about cost overruns when the governments buys medical equipment? Perhaps you should research what actually takes place over at the Pentagon.

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By MarthaA, October 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

BBFmail, October 7 at 7:58pm,

Yeah, sure, that’s why all those poor old Right-Wingers were fighting mad fending for their Medicare.

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By BBFmail, October 7, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Government run Health Insurance programs not as great as they would have us believe:

Total Medicare claims denied in one year: 475,566

The entire report can be viewed here: AMA 2008 National Health Insurer Report Card

Again, I am all for reform. And it is up to the American people to decide on what type of reform is best. But what I don’t like is misinformation, and un-truthfulness.

When people bring up their concerns about a Government takeover of health care, or rationing, or the dreaded death panels, they are scoffed at. Yet, looking at the Medicare denial rates, they deny more patients then seven top commercial health insurers.

So, perhaps the next time Obama puts down private insurance companies for denying claims, or scoffs at those concerned about rationing, or being denied under a public option, someone can point out to him that Medicare is one of, if not the worst, offender?

And while they are busy denying coverage to thousands of people, Medicare is running around willy-nilly overspending by the hundreds of millions of dollars.

  According to their own auditors, Medicare knowingly overpays for almost everything it buys. Examples include:

  – $7,215 to rent an oxygen concentrator, when the purchase price is $600.

  – $4,018 for a standard wheelchair, while the private sector pays $1,048.

  – $1,825 for a hospital bed, compared to an Internet price of $1,071.

  – $3,335 for a respiratory pump, versus an advertised price of $1,987.

  – $82 for a diabetic supply kit, instead of a $47 price on the Web.

  Last year, the Health and Human Services Department tried to replace its archaic fixed-price fee schedule for 10 commonly purchased products with a competitive bidding program in 10 cities. The department said the program could save Medicare $125 million in a single year, or $1 billion if adopted nationwide. But Congress stepped in to stop it.

But Congress stepped in to block it….

http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/10/06/obama-we-are-held-hostage-by-insurance-companies-that-deny-coverage/#more-34304


“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the
oppressed.”—Steve Biko

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By Kath Cantarella, October 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill, don’t you know that strong regulations are ‘socialist’?

You shouldn’t consider doing something we uncouth, racist, and curiously somehow both simultaneously imperialistic and convict-bred Aussies have done successfully for decades without turning ‘red’.

Australian Indigenous customary law as regards property is brilliant ‘socialism’, and I wish it rubbed off even more on today’s Australian culture. Unfortunately, the 18th century Brits chose to see ‘terra nullius’ and we missed out on adapting a sophisticated legal system that evolved over tens of thousands of years, amongst other things.

Back to the point: Indigenous customary property law seems to have a lot in common with socialism. I believe the new Australian culture took some of that influence and added strongly regulated capitalism, and prospered. In my opinion, Indigenous culture had a huge, if largely unrecognised, influence on the new fused culture, and resulted in some of the things I love best about my country.

So why are many US citizens so terrified of anything less than pure capitalism? Negative freedoms without some well-chosen positive freedoms only lead to the tyranny of the poorer by the richer. Which is not freedom at all.

I love this website, i love the diverse ideas expressed here. Thanks Mr Scheer and co.

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By ardee, October 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

By Laugher, October 7 at 1:47 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee -
Yes I understand their talking points
But they are clearly BS

Errr no, apparently you do not, thus I repost below for your further edification…read slower.

If you start an insurance company that is based on all of the unprofitable patients, there is no way it could compete with the regular insurance companies and bring their prices down.

Where do you read that a public option will be based upon only the so-called uninsurable? I am given to understand that a part of the “reform” will be regulating the Insurer to prevent such practice.

BTW the Public option is not going to cover 80 million people like you claim.

Not my claim,the articles claim, which I support through reason and research.

  In Obama’s big address to congress he said that it would only cover about 5%.  Or in other words, all the customers the private insurers don’t want.

Nope again but nice try, sort of.Five percent of the total number of insured in the land seems a more accurate interpretation of those meaning of those words….


If you are able to get insurance now, the public option is not designed to help you in any wayThe Public Option plan allows more than 80 million workers to keep or change their insurance coverage, buy into the government-run public plan, or go uninsured.

Do you contradict yourself, well then you contradict yourself…sorry Mr. Emerson, I doubt this poster contains multitudes. First that option will not help any who currently have insurance then it will allow those workers who do have insurance to change it…what?????

I repost the articles exerpts for further enlightenment…..

The Public Option plan would protect the insurance industry, while reducing costs; the Single Payer system would threaten the industry, and relegate it to providing only supplemental or special needs insurance. The Public Option plan allows workers and employers to keep their own insurance or to enroll in the government insurance; there would be no choice in Single Payer system. Advocates of the Single Payer system argue that by enrolling all citizens into one system, costs would be significantly less because of the ability to negotiate with the health care industry and the probable reduction in administrative costs. The Public Option would also influence drug companies and health care providers, but the result could be less reduction than under the Single Payer system. Both Single Payer and Public Option plans eliminate or significantly reduce deductibles and co-pays.

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By ardee, October 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

(But I am pretty darned sure that there were no Thomas Crapper devices in widespread use at Valley Forge, considering that shoes and bread were also at a premium in that bleak time.)

But Hulk, most of those at Valley Forge were outdoors all the time anyway….Besides, the Crapper invention came long after the Revolution…...

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By KDelphi, October 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Here it is:

http://www.mobilizeforhealthcare.org/

I know, it wont do any good, but I cant just sit here.

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By KDelphi, October 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Beverly—I live in a poor, crime ridden neighborhood and I submit that the problem is the poor crime-ridden neighborhood. Sorry, but “personal resonbility” in such cases is almost a red herring. The govt subsidizes most of this crap , along with agri-busines and “urban renewal”, with no groceries and ample liquor stores, payday lenders. Food (sugar, pop, etc) becomse “entertainment” when it is all you can afford.

djnoll—I am keeping Nov 3rd in mind, but there are all types of local protests and civil disobedience (Mad as Hell Drs) coming up next week. I figure it would be easier to get out of jail locally…but, if yours is a protest with a permit, there is probably no problem. mobilizeforhealthcare.org, you can sign up for civil disobedience or protest, either locally or nationally…the J scrupt is slowing my pc down so I cant link it, just google it, if interested.

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

SaveTheTenth:
‘Once again, the mandatory insurance purchase goes without the question of how.

How does the Federal Government all of a sudden get the authority to mandate the purchase of *anything*? Do writers like Boyarsky never ask themselves this? Never before in our 233 yr history has this ever happened. If I’m wrong about this I’d sure appreciate correction. ...’

I’ve been wondering about that myself.  There doesn’t seem to be anything in the Constitution empowering the Federal government to compel individuals to buy anything from a private party.  No doubt some article or other is being tortured even as we speak to make it support the plan, but it’s going to take some pretty severe twisting.

The states do compel motor vehicle owners to buy insurance, but that is not because they exist but because they want the motor vehicles to operate on the public roads which the state builds, owns and regulates.

I think there might be a serious Constitutional issue here.  Compelling people to buy insurance from private profit-making insurance companies is a lot more complicated than having the government tax them and provide the service, legally speaking.

Boyarsky’s complaint about lack of regulation is, in a sense, correct, but it’s almost guaranteed that regulators will wind up coming from the same group as the regulated most of the time, so I’m not impressed with the inevitable goodness of regulation.

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By MarthaA, October 7, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

ender,

Maybe if you’re shot or something like that, otherwise, if you don’t have insurance, you don’t get seen.

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By Ms. Kit, October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

The U.S. has another model health care system which doesn’t get much positive press, but should: the V.A. program. As a retired but still practicing (volunteer) school nurse I strongly support the single-payer system. Failing political backing for that, your suggested insurance company regulation seems like a positive first step. Meanwhile, we are grateful for life-saving organizations like the Venice Family Clinic and Remote Area Medical Foundation.

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By Dave Schwab, October 7, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Medicare For All, also known as single-payer health insurance, is favored by a sizable majority of Americans.

How can we convince our Members of Congress to do what the people want?

Let them know that unless they support Medicare For All, you won’t support them.

Take the Medicare For All Voter Pledge today:

http://bit.ly/medicareforallpledge

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By Laugher, October 7, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee -
Yes I understand their talking points
But they are clearly BS

If you start an insurance company that is based on all of the unprofitable patients, there is no way it could compete with the regular insurance companies and bring their prices down.

BTW the Public option is not going to cover 80 million people like you claim.  In Obama’s big address to congress he said that it would only cover about 5%.  Or in other words, all the customers the private insurers don’t want.  If you are able to get insurance now, the public option is not designed to help you in any way

Most of your other points are about single payer and universal systems, which obviously has nothing to do with what the democrats are proposing

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By Richard Johnston, October 7, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

May I suggest another related and
missing aspect of the debate?  In
terms of a lack of regulation, any
employment-based insurance is
currently very much under-regulated,
and any insurance policy you get
through your employment is very very
difficult to enforce in court should
it ever come to that.  Essentially the
insurance industry, with regard to
employment-based insurance, has
immunity from liability for any bad
behavior up to and including fraud. 
Current proposals do nothing to change
that.  For further background you may
wish to take a look at my ERISA-reform
blog, and specifically this
overview post:

http://problemiserisa.blogspot.com/2009/10/problem-redux.html

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By ender, October 7, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

The case for manditory health insurance it that we already have UNMANAGED UNIVERSAL COVERAGE.  If a person with no coverage gets shot on the street, our current public option will give them trauma treatment regardless of the cost.  By not having any coverage that individual is making you and me liable for their emergency medical care but not getting preventive care that might prevent that heart attack of stroke that those with coverage will have to pay for.

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By Bud, October 7, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Healthcare is desperately needed in the United States.It should probably start in congress with MANDATORY psychiatric examinations for ALL of the nut jobs,loonies,cheats,frauds,and LIARS!!

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By Hulk2008, October 7, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

ardee:
  You are absolutely right.  I completely forgot that the wealthy colonials all had chamber pots kept indoors - and most had either servants or slaves to empty them.  I was SO remiss. 
  (But I am pretty darned sure that there were no Thomas Crapper devices in widespread use at Valley Forge, considering that shoes and bread were also at a premium in that bleak time.)

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By beverly, October 7, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i live in a crime-ridden poor neighborhood. the cost of health insurance is not affordable for my neighbors. but, there seems to be money for chain-smoking, pot meth and coke, beer for breakfast lunch and dinner, take-out food, the other coke, greasy chips and mc donalds for nourishment. entertainment is cable tv and the latest gigantic hd tv’s with the computer games to go with them. i can’t imagine what their cellphone bills are, as there appears to be one attached to every other ear..oh, and babies? one a year for many of the local young ladies.

no, i am not a right wing republican.. far from it. at sixty i still let “my freak flag fly” ... but we seem to be overlooking personal accountability in the health-care debate. my neighbors do not see themselves as doing anything ‘wrong’ and our society has devolved to the point that it seems to agree with them. pity.

[ps. i’m not saying middle incomers are any more responsible.. i’m just reporting on my little neck of the woods…]

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By Doug Wilson, October 7, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Love demonstrations of people taking care of themselves - It’s up to each of us to take charge of our health, our personal ethics and the future of the world - there is no other way to flourish

watch Dr. Russell Blaylock and other videos on nutrition, health and the history of our lives under tyranny.
Join others on the self determined path…

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By djnoll, October 7, 2009 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

The author is right!  Strong regulation of this industry is absolutely essential, especially if the idiots in Congress make it a crime not to have health insurance!

Please join me in telling them so on November 3rd!  Our government should be putting the needs of citizens first, last, and always ahead of insurance companies and health care corporations.  It is time we told them so in numbers that cannot be ignored.  It is time to send the message that we are not fanatics who disrupt town halls or spew lies to confuse people - We are people who understand the needs of our families and friends to be able to afford health insurance, good comprehensive health insurance that covers prescriptions, vision, and dental completely, not just certain things or that have exclusions or other restrictions. 

It is time that Congress and the President see and hear the voices of the majority of Americans, not only that they want a public option, but that they want these pirate insurance companies regulated or driven out of business for the health and safety of the American public.  We do not want to be made criminals subject to fines because some idiot senator is in the pay of insurance companies who want to make money betting on how healthy we stay or on how soon we will die.

Join me in this effort to make our numbers seen and our voices heard!

http://www.letfreedomring.community.officelive.com

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By ardee, October 7, 2009 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

Laugher, October 6 at 8:42 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)


I still have never understood the democrat’s claim that the public option will reduce costs overall


http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/07/prescribing-cake-to-cure-the-health-care-crisis/

‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘'edited’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘

  The Public Option plan allows more than 80 million workers to keep or change their insurance coverage, buy into the government-run public plan, or go uninsured. The Public Option plan would protect the insurance industry, while reducing costs; the Single Payer system would threaten the industry, and relegate it to providing only supplemental or special needs insurance. The Public Option plan allows workers and employers to keep their own insurance or to enroll in the government insurance; there would be no choice in Single Payer system. Advocates of the Single Payer system argue that by enrolling all citizens into one system, costs would be significantly less because of the ability to negotiate with the health care industry and the probable reduction in administrative costs. The Public Option would also influence drug companies and health care providers, but the result could be less reduction than under the Single Payer system. Both Single Payer and Public Option plans eliminate or significantly reduce deductibles and co-pays.

‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘edited yet again’‘’‘’‘’‘

The conservatives argue that competition between insurance companies keeps costs low, but they ignore a study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that concluded that about 30 percent of all health care costs are for overhead expenses, including executive bonuses and aggressive advertising and marketing campaigns by drug and insurance companies. They disregard the reality that patients and their physicians, dentists, optometrists, and other health care providers will determine the best treatments, and not an insurance clerk reading myriad pages of rules and regulations established by—who else?—insurance companies. They ignore the fact that universal health care coverage would reduce “cherry picking,” the enrollment of only healthy persons in order to “maximize profits.” The Public Option plan allows insurance companies to continue to “cherry pick,” but has provisions for those who are denied coverage to enroll in the Public Option plan. Under the Single Payer system, there would be no denial because of pre-existing conditions.

Conservatives falsely claim there won’t be any choice when government takes over health care, but disregard the reality that under both plans Americans can still choose whoever they wish to be their health care providers. But if the conservatives want to push what they call the terror of “no choice,” let them realize that even with excellent private insurance, patients currently have no choice in some situations. Those who go to an emergency room already have no choice of personnel. Except in the smaller hospitals, hospitalized patients, no matter how admitted, usually receive care from anonymous residents and hospitalists who are neither the patient’s primary care physician nor the patient’s own specialists.

Conservatives claim that a universal health care system will cost $1 trillion, overlooking a reality that health care costs are currently about $2.2 trillion a year. They conveniently forget that George W. Bush, with the approval of a lame Congress, ran up far more than $1 trillion in debt during his two terms and that the cost of the unnecessary war in Iraq, begun by a jingoistic president and vice-president who lied to the people, will easily cost more than $1 trillion.

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By MarthaA, October 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Congress should be about promoting the general welfare, and health care for all is general welfare.

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By KDelphi, October 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

I have an unnecessary, poorly designed, and detested product, which , (only) in the uS,you need to keep you alive.

If everyone starts to hate it, as they should, maybe I can get the stooges in govt to FORCE everyone to buy it! Just make sure that Wall St is happy, gives alot of money to both parties, the upper classes get everything and the middle class are thrown a bone—just enough to live with all the gadgets of a so-called ‘happy life”...dont forget to tell them that they have the best life in the world! Its been the biggest scam going since the country was founded (best life inthe world, most free in the world, richest country in the world, best health carein the world) and make sure that most of them dont have the money to really travel abroad (no, I dont mean a westernized hotel chain), stick a bunch of flags on it, get a bunch of hand-picked white coats to endorse it, for fear of losing the outrageous salaries that they can only make in the uS.

Just say bullshit like “pay go should be the law of the land” (Pelosi—excepting military, of course and banking and “stimulus”), say that we need a “uniquely Merkin solution” (BaucASS)and pretend that all opinions are of equal value and that youre trying to be “reasonable” and “fair”—-Obama had lots of practice with this, folks, in 2004 in Illinois legislature—the insurance companies were thrilled with how “reasonable” and “compromising the senator is”—Dems in Chicago bemoaned how he watered down a health care bill. So, you know, some of us saw this one coming. But all were magically enthralled…


Great deal, dems!

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By glider, October 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Mike,
“Any politician who helps keep things as they are now will not get re-elected”

Unfortunately, that is not an incentive for politicians to behave well.  They pick up better jobs in the private sector after they have sold their souls to the Corporatists.  Their is no accountability with this revolving door.  Yet another reason our “representative government” does not and will not serve the people.  It is a core feature of our Corporatocracy.

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By Laugher, October 6, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I still have never understood the democrat’s claim that the public option will reduce costs overall

My understanding is that the public option is just a way for the insurance companies to dump all of their unwanted and unprofitable costumers on the tax payer’s dime.
That the public option will basically just be a insurance company tht serves all of the people with “pre-existing conditions.”  And obviously if you base an insurance company on all of the unprofitable costumers that the private companies didn’t want there’s really no way such a company could make money and drive down costs for their competitors.  It would clearly lose money, lots of money.
Which is OK, I don’t mind covering these people with taxpayer money, but the democrats are setting themselves up for a big fall if the are claiming this public option stuff is going to break even.  There is no way that will happen

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By mike112769, October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

If the insurance companies are not regulated, we as a society lose. If there is no regulation and no single-payer or public option, we as a society are screwed.

It will be interesting to see who kills their political career by not doing some good for the public. Any politician who helps keep things as they are now will not get re-elected.

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By ardee, October 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Hulk You know, it is possible that our founders actually had indoor plumbing:

History

It is often incorrectly quoted that the toilet was invented by a Mr Thomas Crapper in the 18th century.
Actually, simple toilets have been used since Babylonian times. King Minos of Crete owned the world’s first flushing water closet over 2800 years ago. In 1596, John Harrington invented an indoor water closet for Queen Elizabeth I. But Harrington then published a book with tasteless puns about his own invention. The toilet then dropped into obscurity for nearly 200 years. In 1775, London watchmaker Alexander Cummings patented the forerunner of today’s toilet.

  1. 400BC - King Minos of Crete owned the first flushing water closet
  2. 1596 - John Harrington invents the indoor water closet
  3. 1775 - Alexander Cummings patented the predecessor to today’s flushing toilet
  4. 1872 - Thomas Crapper developed a type of toilet - the cistern
  5. 1981 - NASA develops a toilet for the Space Shuttle

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By Myronh, October 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a born-here American, I am also sick and tired of hearing all the false information being spread by the Republican/Health Insurance Lobby about Canadien Health Service. I had the oportunity to provide technical consulting service to a Canadien Electric Utility Company. I worked with two electrical engineers. one being the Manager of the Service Department. I asked them about their health care system. They both said it had gone through some initial growing pains, but was now excellent. Both had encountered major medical problems and had received timely first class care from the start to a very successful outcome. Members of their family had similar results, which included basic clinic calls for sore throat, back-ache, broken arm, etc.

I asked if they thought any improvement was needed and they both said no. Their comment: “don’t fix or change it if it isn’t broke” came across as a strong endorsement of their system. I am certain both men were in a financial condition that would afford them better care if they thought their present care was sub-standard.

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By PatrickHenry, October 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

A national referendum for healthcare conducted by the U.S. census would be nice and representative.

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By Leefeller, October 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Ernesto Cadrington,

Thank you it is most refreshing to read your comments from Canada, your nation seems much more educated and less ignorant then the USA.  Only, if I had gone to Canada instead of Vietnam back then.

Graft and lies seem to permeate from the very core of our representatives.

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By Ernesto Cadrington, October 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
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I am a working Canadian and I’m sick and tired of hearing distorted information being spread by certain members of your special interest groups when trying to make their political point (s). I’ve watched ads on CNN by an-out-of shape woman claiming to be a doctor. In her ad she is ‘Swift Boating’ the Canada’s health care system in trying to make her point. We in Canada are totally satisfied with our system. The only ones who are dissatisfied with our system are the insurance moguls and hypocritical doctors who have abandoned their Hippocratic Oath in trying to cure the sick but instead aiming to become millionaires first in their positions as doctors. The insurance companies had their run of the system here until we the voters booted them out. Like yours, they were not interested in curing the sick; they were only interested in making money off the sick. We smartened up. We pay the doctors through our taxes. There is no middle man.  Pre-existing conditions or not we all have coverage. You people in the US spend your money on the wrong things, unfortunately, not on the betterment of your citizens….. According to some of your ‘Swift boat’ colleagues, Canada’s system is bad, England’s system is bad, the system in France is bad, the system in Germany is bad. Only your NON working system is good, where one quarter of your population cannot afford to become sick.  Canadians are among the healthiest people in the world and we are all covered. Thanks.

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By Hulk2008, October 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

I am almost always amazed at the debate over the Constitution that ensues when issues arise.  Opponents of change always bring up “Let’s go back to what our founding fathers wanted.” 
  Yeah, AS IF…. 
Face this indisputable fact: Our founding fathers had founding mothers and wives and sisters and slaves, lacked indoor plumbing and electricity and and motorized vehicles, and at least had the wisdom and forethought to build into the Constitution the ability to change it and add to it over time.  George Washington would have given his wooden teeth for an indoor privy.  John Hancock would have paid plenty for a ball point pen instead of his quill.  They had only the faintest glimmer of what might happen to the US even within the following decade, much less the next millenium.  The US Constitution is a living document - NOT holy writ, not God’s will.  The very folks who want to change it to control behavior in others (e.g. “protection of marriage”) use it as an excuse to block changes that would benefit most citizens - that’s called hypocrisy.   
  Health care reform is a very old issue, long past its due - formally taken up by Teddy Roosevelt and many Presidents since.  To be literal to the Constitution, ANYthing that “....promotes the general welfare…” is truly what our founding fathers wanted - and our founding mothers etc. are pretty glad their progeny eventually got the right to vote. 
  The US Constitution is within the grasp of the people who are governed by it - and the document is subject to them, NOT the other way around. We live in a cooperative society - we don’t pick and choose which laws and taxes to attend to - the ones on the books are the ones we follow until the books get changed.  AND we do get to change the rules over time. 
    That’s why I still pay my taxes even when I would much prefer to provide health care to our citizens instead of indiscriminate bombing of stone age people in other lands.

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By Louise, October 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

William W. Wexler,
“I don’t think there ever has been a health care debate.”

~~~

You’re right, there never has been. At least not an honest one with the folks who need health care, and the professionals who give it. So maybe it’s time to let our Insurance dude, and our Senators know, we think they’re lousy doctors!

Then kick them out of the room!

How ‘bout we just do away with Health Care Insurance altogether!

Then sign everybody up for Medicare, disallowing any and all private Insurance Corp.s access to, or use of any of those funds.

This would reduce Hospital, clinic and doctor paperwork by volumes, and since the Medical “Industry” would become exclusively run by medical professionals, serving the need of people truly in need of care, a lot of stuff we really don’t need, but thanks to commercial advertising we think we need, would go away, bringing the costs down even more.

Another side benefit, we would see less commercials about stuff we really don’t need. And instead of laying awake nights wondering how we’ll pay our doctor bills, we’ll get a good nights sleep and get better.

And one other thing we need to do is kick Corporate for profit drug manufacturers off the role! If someone needs a drug, the doctor can figure out what that drug needs to be. I’ll bet lots of doctors get frustrated with how many people show up at their door demanding something or other because some drug add convinced them they need that something or other.

Here’s a really radical thought. Maybe if we learned how to let the doctor decide what drugs we need instead of adds on TV, we might not have to worry about possible side affects which might possibly be making us sicker!

Just a thought. smile

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By William W. Wexler, October 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think there ever has been a health care debate.

All I’ve seen is battle lines being drawn and the barricades defended on both sides by the same players.  The battle itself is more fierce because for once it seems that the left is gaining ground on the right; it’s possible that the victims of this continuous assault on human decency are actually going to get some results.

If there is a “real” debate going on somewhere I’d sure like to know who is having it and what they are talking about.  Does “public option” mean an extension of Medicare to people who want it on a sliding fee scale based on income?  That’s the only “public option” that means anything.  I don’t think that’s what’s being discussed in the smoke-filled rooms.  And since when does the President get to declare that the bill has to be “deficit neutral”?  Is Iraq deficit neutral?  How about Afghanistan?

David Swanson points out in his new book “Daybreak” (which everyone who cares about the balance of power in light of Executive Branch overreach should read) that there are two separate conversations going on in Washington.  In the first, we must cut public spending and government programs. In the second, the defense budge is UNTOUCHABLE. 

When is someone going to stand up and say we could pay for Medicare for All by ending the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan?  When is anyone going to stand up and say it’s not for Obama to make a declaration that the bill has to be “deficit neutral”?  When?

Time out, I need a disgust break.

-Wexler

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By JFoster2k, October 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

The idea of “for profit” health care was cooked up in a Nixon backroom deal intended to create a new revenue stream with the creation of the HMO. It worked like a charm. The industry is now raking in huge profits!

The business model is genius. Raise premiums and deny claims until people cannot afford insurance or die from the illness. Then the industry gets to keep all the money. No wonder the republicans are so dead set against changing it. Huge corporate profit at the expense of the masses has long been their model.

The question is how can democrats back anything without a public option? (You can’t count Max Bachus… he is a DINO on the HIC payroll).

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By KDelphi, October 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

savethetenth—”..And if *everyone* thinks that the urgency of “health insurance reform” takes precedent over the law of the land, then the procedures dictated by the Constitution should be followed. Hold a convention and declare the damn thing obsolete.”

Id go with this…

The least expensive, most efficient and quality controlled way to cover everyone is HR 676—Medicare for All. Alternatively a very heavily regulated mkt (like The Netherlands or Switzerland) would be a start. The BaucASS Bill wil just make things worse and delay the inevitable—-health care (NOT ‘insurance”!) for all or Empire Falls.

NOt only doesnt the bill cover “loopholes”—it only says that those with “pre-exisitng conditions” must be “offered” insurance to BUY!What a scam! The “price controls” and so-called coverage minimums are laughable.

Once again, it is NOT a legal question , it is a MORAL question, 45,000 people dying ever year is unbearable to a moral peopel—so are we a moral people or not?

Maybe we should make the poor buy food insurance, shelter insurance, clothing insurance, just to get the fricking bare minimum…and no suicide!! Thats “immoral”!

Ask yourself—do you think that Wall St banksters should be able to make life and death deciosns for you? (or even water your plants while youre away?)Do you think that they would give up 1/10th of % of a stock point, for some poor people to live? Becsause that is what you are expecting in “free mkt” health insurance. Youre asking for morality in a system that has no conscience.

Medical industrial complex, military industrial complex—both designed to kill people. They have no other purpose, except profit.

Appsarently, the same is true for our govt.

USA—whose main profitable product is now—death.

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By P. T., October 6, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Even with regulation, the private health insurance companies are not going to be able to compare favorably with a robust public option (something like Medicare).  The overhead of the private insurers is too high to match the economies of scale and bargaining power of a large, non-profit, government program such as Medicare.  That is why Senator Grassley complains that the government is an “unfair” competitor.  The insurance companies are the problem.

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By Carl, October 6, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Congress needn’t mandate health insurance nor tax people extra, it only needs to fiddle with the “standard deduction” now part of current taxes. Make medical expenses deductible instead. Those without employer medical must pay much more so will get a bigger deduction.

You can’t take a dependent deduction without a SSN. Just require the listing of the child’s insurance policy too.

In short, a family may choose not to have insurance, but then they get no deductions at tax time.

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By Bucket Truck, October 6, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m just tire of insurance companies doing whatever, they want, with out any consequences, what soever, all they care is to get our money every month.

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By glider, October 6, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

And we conveniently forget that Obama and most Democrats do not want to regulate the HICs.  That is not part of the deal worked out with the close participation of the HICs.  The “people” are not at the bargaining table.  The centerpiece of the proposal is the mandated purchase of private insurance.  Passing an ineffective public option or ineffective regulations may be used for the benefit of public relations.  Congress and our president are too corrupt to pass reform that does not benefit the HICs.  That is the bottom line.  I am personally hoping this bill goes down in flames as I no longer trust the democratic party majority to do the right thing.  The real work is in reforming government.  Ask yourself how does a public option control rising costs if it is restricted to a tiny portion of the population?  Does anyone expect the HICs to lower rates on 95% of the people that are forced to buy their product for the sake of competing for 5% of the customers from the lower rung of our society?  What CEO will bite on that?  This “reform” is a sleazy con job.

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By Mike, October 6, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In what media accounts are casting as a serious setback for President Barack Obama and lawmakers who back the “public option,” the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday voted against including the provision in the bill. Reports also remark on GOP unity against the provision, which they compare to the Democratic split apparent in Tuesday’s committee votes.  Where I am a health insurance agent with http://www.benefitsmanager.net/SelectHealth.html .  I find this frustrating somewhat. I don’t agree with the design of the “public option” where it works against a health system in place now and causes a financial burden on tax payers.  But, I think we need one out there.  I need the ability to get my clients a insurance policy that won’t decline them for pre-existing medical conditions.  See Utah’s response to health care reform and health insurance reform.  http://www.prweb.com/releases/utah_health_insurance/health_care_reform/prweb2614544.htm.
Perhaps the feds should look at the only second state case attempt for reform as a model. What about TORT reform? That honestly impacts doctor insurance costs as well as health insurance premiums by 13% See study in prior link.

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By hark, October 6, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t believe how many people object to buying health insurance, yet when they become seriously ill or victims of an accident, they have no problem with having the rest of us pay for their treatment.

I understand the dilemma - that’s a big chunk out of your budget to pay for health insurance if your employer doesn’t have a plan, and you haven’t purchased it before.  But most of us have made that sacrifice, because it’s the right thing to do, because very few of us can afford treatment for serious illness or accident.  We must carry insurance.

It’s just something we have to do as a society.  But I do admit there should be, at the very least, a public option for the uninsured, and a period to adjust to the financial shock.

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By Myronh, October 6, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The present health industry is based on profit. Why should care of our health be based on someone else making a profit? Do the local police and fire departments make profit? Do we have to buy insurance to obtain police protection? Do we have to buy insurance to obtain the service of the local fire department? Why should we have to purchase insurance in order to remain healthy?

Let’s not lose track of the fact that all insurance companies are in business to make a profit. The CEO of Well-Point’s salary is 9.8 million dollars ($9,800,000.00). How can any logical person believe in a system that allows this to happen. This alone is proof to me that there is no god.

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By fredmoz, October 6, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Once again we like conveniently to forget the jest of this column and THAT IS “Health Insurance Companies have to be regulated” if we are subsidizing them to the tune of $1 Trillion. The fact that car insurance is different from health is immaterial.
I hope public option becomes a reality. What concerns me is that this administration is going to bed with insurance companies.
I do think this plan was hatched at the time that health insurance CEO met with president Obama a month into his presidency. It is all part of the same deal.

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By Cain is Able, October 6, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Myronh,

The reason health Insurance is different is that it is not a tax, not yet.  As you see it citizens should be taxed so that health care is provided to all just as emergency services.  that is fine that is your position. Let us have that debate.  But don’t charge people for something they don’t want, if you want to tax them call it a tax and debate the merits.

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By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, October 6, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As the ‘greatest’, ‘great’ and ‘near-great’ americans have been saying for the last four centuries, greatness of america had been achieved by honesty, love our great country, hard work, etc.

Our country became ‘great’ because people did not expect to get s’mthing for nothing nor did the get s’mthing for nothing, such as ‘free’ health care, ‘free’ higher education, etc,

It wld be highly unamerican to obtain ‘free’ health care or good education. it wld destroy our vibrant and free society.

We, the 0003%+ of our society will not ever allow demise of america.

Stop being lazy. There is no free lunch. U must work for it.

Methinks, that’s how the ruling class in america [003-2% of the pop]thinks and even says.

So, it seems that the ruling class thinks that the 100mn insignificant americans [most of them blacks and latino] are such because they want to be that way?!
Is this their ‘explanation’, rationalization? Seems so!
for how can s’mone be anything unless that one wants to be anything.  tnx

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By Myronh, October 6, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When people argue against mandatory health insurance because some people might not want any is ridiculous. Does anyone have the right to not pay the portion of local tax that is used for police protection,fire,and ambulance service? It Those services are all there for the welfare of the general public. What makes medical service any different?

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By Cain is Able, October 6, 2009 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

The analogy of mandatory car insurance being no different than mandatory health insurance is erroneous.  Where car insurance is required, the individual is only made to purchase liability insurance, which covers anyone else hurt in the accident our you damage others’ property.  You are not required to cover yourself.  that keeps the cost of the mandatory policies down.

With mandatory health insurance you are requiring people to purchase a service they deem unnecessary.  You can argue their sanity but they have made a conscious decision not to buy insurance.  This is different that those who can not afford it.

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By Nick, October 6, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mandatory Auto Insurance Vs Mandatory Health Insurance are disparate products.  Auto insurance would fall into the ostensible “free market” realm where a consumer has the “option” to choose another mode of transportation (ie. bike, bus, train, walking) and decline insurance if they feel that the costs of insuring and maintaining a car exceed its value.  On the other hand mandated private health insurance coverage, with its exorbitant rate hikes, would force the consumer to buy a poor and expensive product without the ability to opt out. Health insurance is different in that it is inherently monopolistic and precludes the consumer from having the choice not to buy the service (We can’t opt out of being a living biological animal prone to health risks).  The Baucus bill would be political suicide for the Democrats and play directly into the hands of the conservative powers.  Progressives must resist this reform.

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By ender, October 6, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

There is no health care reform without a public option.  Tightly regulated private insurance has worked in some European countries, but the prostitutes we have in Congress will immediately begin stripping back any regulations they put in place and the campaign funds start rolling in.  And thats just the Democrats.  God forbid the Republican’ts get back in power, they would strip all regulations out and destroy the regulating agency.

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By ardee, October 6, 2009 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

I guess Mr.Tenth has failed the test of reading comprehension. For those unaware:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Tenth amendment, a holdover from the original Articles of Confederation, notes that the Federal Govt can make laws not otherwise prohibited or reserved to the States.

I am not exactly a fan of mandatory health insurance, but think perhaps it falls with mandatory automobile insurance in that it is necessary for the “general welfare”.

Neither am I optimistic as to what will come out of Congress with regard to health care reform and believe that, should mandatory enrollment be a part of it, the Supreme Court will decide.

Im sure ( grin) that Mr. Tenth would agree that a public option would be the least expensive and most efficient way of insuring all Americans.

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By Major Domo, October 6, 2009 at 1:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SaveTheTenth sez:

“How does the Federal Government all of a sudden get the authority to mandate the purchase of *anything*?”

The 10th Amendment says any powers not delegated to the federal government nor prohibited by the Constitution is reserved to the States, respectively, the people - people are the key here, not State’s.

All insurance lies in the domain of the States. So too does health insurance. And it’s the health insurance domain State’s have let the markets run their course without considering the impact on the people, whom the 10th Amendment was designed to protect. The Federal government wouldn’t have cause to interfere in a State’s Right’s issue if the State’s were looking out for the best interests of the public within their borders. This is the same argument used with race vs. voting vs. education. It was a State’s right’s issue that State’s decided to ignore at that time. The health insurance debacle is no different. The State’s choose to side with the industry and neglect the needs of the public. The federal government has no choice but to intervene to force State’s to reconsider the impact their decisions have on the public in the health care domain. If you want the federal government out of State’s rights issues, then make sure the State’s are carrying out their duties with everyone within their domain - not the industry.

However, you avoid the obvious argument - the health care issue is piecemeal in that can’t be controlled individually, state by state. Of course, each State can be bought off to accept specific industry proposals to sate legislators whims - all at the expense of the public. This is why the federal government has no choice but to pull each and every State up by their short hairs and force a national standard upon them. While a State only concerns itself with the people within its’ borders, the federal government must consider all people within the national borders. So when State’s make decisions that inversely impact the public at large, both financially as well as physically, the federal government has no choice but to act for the people.

In short, the federal government wouldn’t need to get involved if the State governments were doing their job to protect the public and provide services. Since they aren’t, the federal government has no choice but to step in and set new ground rules for the State’s to follow.

As for “proper debate”, every time I see one, either the republicans refused to cooperate by holding fast with the word NO to stifle useful debate as to the best course for the country and public to follow(minus industry), or in public forums, the debate is stifled by people who are determined no debate will take place(tea-bagger, birthers, et al). Many a ‘proper debate” has been held, but held hostage by those who have no desire to move forward.

And I’d be careful about quoting the Presidential oath of office. It can be shown that Bu$h went out of his away to ignore the very oath he swore too.

And for the - law of the land - quote - remember what I mentioned above about “race vs. voting vs. education”. At that time it was lawful, under the 10th Amendment in most State’s, to deny a black person the right to vote(poll tax) and access to a decent education (separate but equal).  Are you saying that federal government intervention was illegal too and there should have been a Constitutional Convention held to rewrite a new Constitution?

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By SaveTheTenth, October 6, 2009 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Once again, the mandatory insurance purchase goes without the question of how.

How does the Federal Government all of a sudden get the authority to mandate the purchase of *anything*? Do writers like Boyarsky never ask themselves this? Never before in our 233 yr history has this ever happened. If I’m wrong about this I’d sure appreciate correction.

If the Boyarskis of the world are going to ignore the Tenth Amendment—

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

then they shouldn’t be surprised when other amendments are ignored.

If *everyone* (the Boyarskis of the world) thinks that “health insurance reform” isn’t covered by the 10th, they should say so. And if *everyone* thinks that the urgency of “health insurance reform” takes precedent over the law of the land, then the procedures dictated by the Constitution should be followed. Hold a convention and declare the damn thing obsolete.

This is NOT Rocket science. It’s called reading the founding documents.

For reference, here is the Oath of office of the President of the United States:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”

And if the Democrats somehow manage to change 233 yrs of history without a proper public debate (about how the IRS for example will decide whether you have “acceptable health insurance”) they will deserve the backlash that should come. (should)

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