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Why Obama Will Increase Your Health Care Costs

obama-smoochToday’s major newspapers are leading with an announcement from a coalition of the health insurance industry that, as my daddy used to say, simply states “good ol’ c.s.” (common sense):

Here’s the skinny on the announcement: When Obama’s health care plan forces higher expenses on health insurance companies, those companies will pass along the increased operating costs on to — guess who — you and me.

The announcement is the spearhead of a new, all-out-war publicity campaign by insurance companies. Expect to see lots of new TV ads. And the new campaign signals a “divorce” from the once happily-married Obama administration and insurance companies, along with their hush-hush White House love-fests only a few months ago.

Other groups are also feeling “burned” by Obama: “Hospitals and doctors have increasingly grumbled that the administration is not keeping bargains it struck over how many Americans would be covered under reform and what payment changes would be made.” (How many people and groups are NOW under Obama’s bus?)

From “New Bill Would Raise Rates, Says Insurance Group” in today’s Washington Post:

After months of collaboration on President Obama’s attempt to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, the insurance industry plans to strike out against the effort on Monday with a report warning that the typical family premium in 2019 could cost $4,000 more than projected.

The critique, coming one day before a critical Senate committee vote on the legislation, sparked a sharp response from the Obama administration. It also signaled an end to the fragile detente between two central players in this year’s health-care reform drama.

Industry officials said they intend to circulate the report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Capitol Hill and promote it in new advertisements. That could complicate Democratic hopes for action on the legislation this week.

[...]

The frontal assault, though not unexpected, was an illustration of the challenges that lie ahead as the president attempts to deliver the sort of health-care overhaul that has eluded his predecessors for decades. Though open to dispute, the analysis is certain to raise questions about whether Obama can deliver on his twin promises of extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans while also curbing skyrocketing health-care costs.

Early in his quest, Obama wooed industry leaders in the hopes of neutralizing many of the players who helped defeat a similar effort by President Bill Clinton. Yet as the process has moved from high-minded concepts to legislative details, the tension has mounted. Hospitals and doctors have increasingly grumbled that the administration is not keeping bargains it struck over how many Americans would be covered under reform and what payment changes would be made.

But no industry has reacted with the same intensity as the insurance lobby.

“The report makes clear that several major provisions in the current legislative proposal will cause health care costs to increase far faster and higher than they would under the current system,” Karen Ignagni, AHIP’s president and chief executive, wrote to board members Sunday. “Between 2010 and 2019 the cumulative increases in the cost of a typical family policy under this reform proposal will be approximately $20,700 more than it would be under the current system.”

[...]

To No Quarter’s writers and readers, this is no news flash. This disastrous plan is going to hit every American — from low- to high-wage workers — in the wallet.

Sigh. It’s at times like this that I wish MY candidate, Hillary Clinton, had prevailed. While the Secretary of State is being a “good soldier” in voicing support for Obama’s plan — she is compelled to do so — don’t you think that, like you and me, that she KNOWS that this plan is just plain lousy and far too expensive for average Americans? Of course she does.

……………………………………..

P.S. How long should Hillary stay in her post? She’s extremely effective as Secretary of State, by all accounts, and she is enjoying high approval from Americans. But I wonder how long Hillary can continue to support Obama’s ill-considered decisions and his worrisome inexperience. When I saw the news that Hillary was considering a run for governor of New York, I was excited. I hope she’s giving the governorship serious thought.

  • barborka08

    it is time to let President Obama do His job. If was not Republicans, we would have a lot more done. Those attacks, dirty machine against everything that is directly connected with 95% of AMERICANS is going to far.!!! Funnaly we have two smart Congress woman who have guts and support changes in Health Care. It is about people , not about Republicans and Insurances who are trying not to do anything for US, the MIDDLE CLASS.
    There is a lot good and unselfish politicians and doctors who are putting others before their selfish and greedy characters. Trying to scare US and telling US that Private Insurances will go drasticly UP is a bunch of baloney!!! New HEALTH INSURANCES will be born and charges will go drasticly down.That is , what will happend, just watch! So , I think that is the right time for those good Republicans to stop putting their Party first and and get together to make AMERICA the best country and for THE PEOPLE and NO!!! to health Care for Illegals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BeenAround

      I think it’s time to let the politicians know that we have had enuff of this party bickering. Republicans this…Democrats that…I coulda but they wouldn’t let me.
      Basically we have just about all the same politicians in office that we had before. That means that almost 500 of the same folx who screwd things up before are back to do it again. Pin a new name on the donkey but it is still the same donkey. These folx are supposed to be smart but party boudaries have no logic. A good idea will go by the wayside just because the wrong party brought it up. A good idea is a good idea and shouldn’t leave our society hanging in the wings just because of whos party brought it up. If we were employers instead of voters we would have fired the whole lot when things went bad. Instead we gave them all their jobs back and trillions more to straighten out what we have already paid for them to protect us from. The country going to pot but congress going on vacation? Bonuses paid for failed business decisions. Where but america could this even seem the right way. I don’t care about parties(well I do when it’s BYOB) They all participated in this trainwreck we’re on…They saw the tax dollars to be made from all these bad deals ie variable mortgages and participated in allowing something that was clearly a bad idea. And when they do these things I never see a refund to us the taxpayer,just a bill to clean it up. And what’s worse is the train is rolling too fast and there is not a way to stop it now until it crashes.

  • BeenAround

    I received this in an e-mail. I was lucky enuff to be born to an era when you went to the doctor when needed to. Now everyone is being scared into believing that doctors should be a part of your everyday life. Let them keep it up and your individuality will be out of your own hands.

    Here’s to US!!!!
    No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us,
    WE ARE AWESOME !!!!
    OUR LIFE IS LIVING PROOF !!!!
    To Those of Us Born 1930 – 1979

    TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s and 70′s!!

    First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

    They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

    Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

    We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes,we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

    As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

    Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

    We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

    We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

    We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren’t overweight.. WHY?

    Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!

    We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on..

    No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

    We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem

    We did not have Play stations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s,
    no surround-sound or CD’s,
    no cell phones,
    no personal computers,
    no Internet and no chat rooms.

    WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

    We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

    We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

    We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

    We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.

    We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

    Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

    Imagine that!!

    The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

    These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

    The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

    We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

    If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

    You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

    While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

    Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?

    The quote of the month is by

    Jay Leno:
    ‘With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?’

    • barborka08

      great comment by Jay Leno. After all, it is not about any faith, but about all fait on the planet.Why anyone of those”NO TO GOD” are so affraid of GOD>??? GOD teach US GOOD not BAD. People who are aginst GOD and any faith are those who are doing all bad things against people all over the world!!, OH , YES.Those people are doing everything to make people hate each other in their dirty political games. Honestly, I dont care how rich are some(5%) of American population, but share, give to people their fair schare and let them to have a good life, let them to be healthy and happy and get their hands off of OUR GOD!!! Communizm was against any faith for over 40 years, and that is why they lost, but people did have HEALTH CARE, ALL OF THEM. NEVER TRY TAKE PEOPLE FAITH FROM THEM. PEOPLE HAVE RIGHT TO CHOOSE THEIR FAITH AS LONG THEY ARE NOT RADICAL, because beying RADICAL it has nothing to do with any faith!!!POWER,POWER,POWER that is all!!!
      People are using faith(their own) for their own “ME”Those fanatics are not just in MIDDLE EAST, they are in the whole world, are using and changing their translation to; kill,steal,lie,war,destroy and much more. Power,money, for any cost.

    • barborka08

      to BEENAROUND… absolutely great comment I agree with You 1000%.IT was USA people were dreaming about, and it would be so nice, even with all those changes over decades to be able to live a such great life again!!!
      My Family came here douring WWII and they love this country so much and respect LAW and culture and become great Americans, and now we have others from different parts of the world who dont give damn about Americans values and want do destroy and kill ,steal, and trying to tell US, that their faith is the best and christians must be kill. Even people from south, who call themselfs “catholics” are not better(not all of them). and what their are doing??? ; drugs,and crime is sky high.They are taking from us all that is possible.People from Middle East(again not all of them) are moving here with a ugly plan to kill and kill.Who is to blame, we all know, we do not have to point fingers because we all know who…….

    • BeenAround

      As I look around this board I see a great deal about immigrants and how they will be a leach on the system…Yet when I look around the real world I see more and more about how we need to dig deep to help all the needy in the world. Are we able to bind together to help others only when the world can see and give us credit? Is that what pride is? Is it more important that we help the people we can’t see while the bum on the corner who contributes no more than them to our society must be left to die from some curable disease? All the things that must be done to make sure that everyone can live the sum of their days…rich, poor,immigrant…who cares who they are. We pay enormous taxes in this country, yet everytime we need something we are told to “dig a little deeper”. Everytime we give what they ask…Then when something goes wrong it is us that suffers. Cutting out schools but leaving in place the push for a new amusement park or a new ballfield or lets do a million dollar study on something useless. So we have to make a big decision. Even if we approve a social health plan.. it must be unconditional AND not alterable by the politicians because they made some poor economic choices elsewhere. They treated social security like a slush fund and now look at the mess it is in. The highest taxes ever and they are still looking for more. Immigration is a legal problem…life is a human problem. If we leave the right to be healed to the legal process we are all at risk. Right now the profiteering being done by the medical trade is a disgrace. The bottom line is healthcare is a job not a donation driven enterprise. The costs keep going up and they keep saying its because of the deadbeats. No it’s the arrogance and greed that the position seems to instill in these people..kind of like “Here’s the house the man with the porsche lives in(DUMP) here’s his mechanics(PALACE)”. I’ve talked to docs and when you go to them and they give you the skill of an oil changer but want to be paid like a skilled journeyman… there is something terribly wrong and we need to take a weedeater to all of them. Sort the crap from the cream. Then maybe medicine will be back to that hipocratic? oath. You know that they are full of crap if an insurance card is the only thing to keep you from certain death. Healthcare should be a right….not a Privelidge.

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    • growingup…

      Pinkback, You are real PINGBACK. Read,learn that is what You need. Mr.Obama is doing what most of Americans ask Him for. Young people can not have free ride anymore.We are paying for their health problems, and they do not care how we will pay.Because they are young it does not means that they are free of sickness and serious illness. It is not free ride for older generation, but about those who are not paying at all. Older and old people have not so many years ahead of them, but when younger get jus sick, very sick or hurt, it is many years to pay for keeping them alive and as healthy as possible. So, You got all wrong, they have to pay fair share, older and old people were paying their whole life for health care and pention. You will get there some day , You will learn how wrong You were.

  • ImaLlindatoo

    Agreed. I hope Hillary enjoys the Holidays and is outta’ there the start of the new Year.

    People see how good she is. Of course her hands will be tied on what she can do for a state with Weary Barry in the WH, but she will do good and better than anyone they could come up with.

  • Dana

    This is an emotional issue for many Americans. This so-called “public option” in Government run health care presents serious challenges for us. As Consumers we should be able to compare the cost and quality of health care services. How much is a specific surgery at one hospital, as compared with another? http://www.friendsoftheuschamber.com/media/

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  • http://deleted Aaron Kramer

    Only Obama could force Americans to buy a service from large evil(LOL) companies, under threat of law, and people call it progress. Using the logic employed (the Young must pay for the old to make it affordable) we should force Americans to use public transportation because it will make it cheaper for everyone else who can’t afford a car. People wake up this is not about healthcare but it is a MASSIVE TAX HIKE!

  • TeakWoodKite

    Harbor Master, thanks for covering this. Love reading you work.

    What is becoming increasingly clear to me is that with out a change to the delivery infastructure this whole deal will be farmed right back out to the insurance companies and they WILL figure out how to pass on the screwing BO is Dishing out.

    So based on this steep project rise in costs, at somepoint it will give the impetus to “nationalize” the industry all together. Mean time payup.

  • BeenAround

    Healthcare…what a laugh.
    A bunch of quacks who have gotten together trying to convince you that you need them! Inattentive, unable to diagnose, Heroic geniuses if you live we’re just practicing if you die, QUACKS!
    PCP’s who always want to send you to someone else. Can’t diagnose a hangnail without sending you to a proctologist to clear out all the smoke that they have been blowing up your butt. I have given them a chance. Paid more than my share of premiums and co-pays and all I’ve been shown is that they can afford to go to school longer than me. Auto mechanics and plumbers have a better success rate and a guarantee.
    The death rate by incompetence of putting your life in their hands is something most trades would be ashamed of. And a lot of times you die from them …not what they were supposed to doing ie. performing the wrong operation, presribing the wrong drug, busy on the 9th hole, come back in a month if you’re not dead. They might as well sell used cars.
    And if that isn’t a big enuff insult let’s ask them what we should do…Why lets make a law so that everyone will buy our crappy product…and so the govt won’t be left out let’s fine them if they don’t.
    QUACKS! SCAMMERS! CONMEN!
    IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING THAT WILL BE HUMANE? BUY A GOOD LIFE INSURANCE POLICY INSTEAD. LEAVE A LEGACY SOMEONE CAN DO SOMETHING WITH. NOT A RAPED PILLAGED AND PLUNDERED LEGACY WITH YOUR FAMILIES HOMELESS AND STARVING. A big enuff policy and your family will have enuff to afford the search for a GOOD physician.. a real life Marcus Welby.
    So the question is do you want to leave the medical profession your legacy …or your family.
    No more corporation enrichment laws.

  • Seriously Sick of Obama

    Obami has never done anything that did not benefit him! If you think about that, then you have to consider whatever plan on his agenda for health care will benefit in $$$$$! When he does his taxes in a four years, we will see where our money went bc his agenda has always been and will always be “IT’S ALL FOR ME AND ABOUT ME”. This man child has never done anything for anyone other than himself, so following the money trail and see if the bucks don’t lead back to him when all is said and done! IMHO!!

  • http://nyermd nyermd

    Yes, Ferd, I agree that there are bad physicians just like there are rotten apples in every sphere of life. Yet the majority of physicians go out every day and labor because they genuinely care about their profession and their patients. Indeed many of us do what we do so that you can say that your rights supercede ours. Let us all continue to believe that simplistic view and see where it gets us – right where we are at the moment.

    Having worked in both public city hospitals catering mostly to the poor and private enterprise, I have never known or heard of anyone not able to retrieve their medical records. That generally falls under the purview of the organization employing the physicians. If the physician is in private practice, and someone is trying to retrieve their records, there are ways to access them. No one can prevent you from getting your medical records.

    • Ferd Berfle

      I am speaking of a physician’s professional records–as with attorneys, there should be a clearing house for records pertaining to a physician’s professional conduct and responsibility. I should be able to shop for a doctor, as it were, just as I can shop for an attorney, an engineer, etc.

  • Ferd Berfle

    But I wonder how long Hillary can continue to support Obama’s ill-considered decisions and his worrisome inexperience. When I saw the news that Hillary was considering a run for governor of New York, I was excited. I hope she’s giving the governorship serious thought.

    I’ve come around on the issue of HRC. Up until the bs awarding of the NPP, I was for the idea of HRC remaining in this administration if for no other reason than to act as dorm mother to the fratboys carousing in the WH.

    She should leave and pronto. I see no good coming out of this administration at all. That One is going to f*ck things up in a truly monumental way no matter who is there to clean up after his shiftless arse. Besides, she’d make a great Governor.

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  • IndieDogg

    “…don’t you think that, like you and me, that she KNOWS that this plan is just plain lousy and far too expensive for average Americans? Of course she does.”

    I don’t know what she knows or what she’s thinking. But I’m not impressed by a person (politician or otherwise) who knows, who could make a difference, but who remains silent, on the sidelines, while the bad thing happens.

    The post is terrific but, if HRC is a leader, I want to know what she has to say rather than what we speculate she might be thinking. If she’d stayed in the Senate rather than allowing The One to politically marginalize her (which I can’t believe she didn’t sniff out — it was obvious — he didn’t like her, doesn’t like her, and put her in the administration to remove her as a threat — brilliant on his part — on hers, no so much), she’d have a forum and a platform and she would have been, no doubt, right in the middle of this debate over an issue supposedly near and dear to her heart.

    As it is, she’s doing a fine job, I suppose, but is doing nothing as SOS that several other qualified candidates could not have done.

    I supported her, too. If she runs again, I might again. But, there are too many issues facing this nation today that require action. I have no need to keep HRC propped up or excuse her lack of voice on these critical issues based on the “she has no choice” defense.

    We all make choices every day. Same for the SOS. And the citizen known as Hillary.

  • Neo

    “I really don’t think it’s worth the paper it’s written on,” AARP Executive Vice President John Rother told reporters Monday. “If anyone believes it, that’s a problem.”

    AARP .. neutral through disbelief

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  • Carmen

    And even if this monstrosity passes it still leaves 25 million uninsured which are who? Illegals! That is why health insurance, and hospitals which have been in the pocket of Obama are running the other way. Health insurance will not get the money in premiums from these people, and hospitals know they will still be on the hook for paying for these people which means local governments will be paying for them.
    They have been hoodwinked by Obama and they now know it. Let the ad’s roll guys!
    You will notice AARP is still with him though. One must ask why that is. They are so stupid they still think they are going to get more customers out of this.

    • Doc99

      But illegals WILL be covered if there’s a public option. It will be a civil rights issue and Federal Courts will rule based on precedent that All should be covered. That’s why Joe Wilson was right.

      • Peggy Sue

        I also read this at several different sites, Doc. The public option [despite what the Bill might say] would cover illegals by law under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which refers to “people,” not “citizens.” And it apparently has precedent in 1982 where the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that denied public Education to children of illegal aliens.

        Barack Obama is hailed as a Constitutional scholar. If he’s not aware of this ruling it doesn’t say much about his expertise.

        So Wilson may have been out of line with his callout. But it sounds as if he was absolutely right. The Prez was lying. Or bamboozling. Take your choice.

      • Peggy Sue

        Had another post gobbled by spammy. Sending an email now.

  • http://nyermd nyermd

    As one of those ‘god-like’ doctors in the US, let me add some sanity to this discussion (addressed specifically to tek).

    In order for there to be health care reform, 3 fundamental needs must be addressed:

    1. Tort reform and malpractice insurance – Taking this ‘off the table’ as the president stated at the AMA meeting is a non-starter, in my opinion. Physicians will continue to practice defensive medicine until there is a serious attempt to fix the medicolegal system. Until then, expect the additional costs to filter down to society as a whole. In addition, physicians are leaving important specialties in states where malpractice insurance is prohibitive. Check out Las Vegas where OB/GYNs, orthopedists, neurosurgeons, trauma surgeons are leaving in droves.

    2. Serious insurance reform – Of course preexisting conditions should be covered but more importantly, the reimbursements to physicians for performing services should be adequate. If the insurance companies are forced to insure the 30 million uninsured, the unintended consequence will be more people will be covered but reimbursements will be close to nothing. As a result, physicians will continue to opt out of these plans and that leaves consumers in a worse position.

    3. There has to be a paradigm shift in the way Americans think about health care. No longer will you be able to afford the MRIs, CAT SCANs, for your headaches. Forget about your transplants and forget about the latest technologies. It will no longer be part of the arsenal to fight disease processes because it will no longer be available. If you can live with these options, be my guest but don’t blame the doctors for your lack of knowledge or understanding of the fundamental problems. Rest assured, these are the only people fighting in the trenches every day for your rights, not the AMA or the Doctors for Obama or for that matter, the politicians in Washington.

    • hokma

      Bravo.

      Medical school students are watching these proceeedings in horror right now. Yes, there are those 1 in 10 doctors who have never left those 1960′s radical roots and were all at Obama’s love-fest.

      I agree that ambulance chasing lawyers need to have their big payday incentives stripped down.

      When it comes to the insurance industry I would add that government regulations particularly in states need to be stripped down and allow for greater competition. Health insurance companies could stand to make less profits and still offer better services and rewards and at lower rates to the insured.

    • Portia Elizabeth

      Thank you for posting! My husband is also a physician who’s been calling for those reforms. I’d also add there needs to be some provision for providing all the additional doctors needed to provide the health care for all the additional potential patients.Another need that will take years to implement.

      FYI: I heard that some of those doctors invited to the White House had no idea they were expected to be props for BO’s agenda and wouldn’t have attended had they known his intentions.

      • ~~JustMe~~

        I did see where Whitehouse aids handed out white coats for the Drs to wear to look the part. It was shown briefly by the msn this past week the long table at the back of the Whitehouse with the Drs lining up and collecting the white coats before proceeding to the meeting in the WHouse.

        • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

          Yes, they were witless pawns in a PR stunt for Obama.

    • Peggy Sue

      Bravo, nyermd. I agree and I wish more practicing doctors were voicing their opinions as strongly. I have no affection for the insurance companies. And, of course, doctors are not gods. But doctors are who we depend on when our health takes a nose-dive.

      Last week, I offered some personal details from a catastrophic injury one of my sons suffered. The insurance policy my husband and I had ensured that our son received the necessary treatments, therapies and rehab without our family going bankrupt. But even so, it was a struggle to get the insurance company to pay out on a number of claims. I spent senseless hours on the phone arguing with insurance clerks. That should not happen.

      But it was the medical staff who saved my son’s life. It was the progress in pharmaceuticals and rehab therapies for TBI [traumatic brain injury] that gave him back the 90% function he enjoys today. Twenty-five to thirty years ago, my son would have died in the emergency ward or lived out his original grim prognosis in a nursing home.

      We can carp all we want about high costs [I'm famous for it]. But throwing the baby out with the bathwater is beyond stupid. There are plenty of ways to cut costs. And certainly, the insurance companies have been allowed to gouge the American public for decades, but they’re not the only villians. Our politicians have allowed this to go on in the same way they’ve allowed the banks and financial institutions to bring the country to economic collapse. No regulation, no accountability, phoney-baloney accounting practices [otherwise know as lies] because the vast majority of our representatives are in the pockets of those that “brung them to the ball.” And Obama is included in that number.

      I have no faith in Washington, DC to clean any of this up. Obama sings the song and lulls the public into thinking that Congress has our best interests at heart. I simply do not beleive it based on the historical markers. This is not a Democratic or Republican argument. This is systemic failure within the entire political arena.

      This healthcare “reform” is going to be a frigging disaster! Because the chefs have poisoned the soup and declared it good. Anyone believing this nonsense is in la-la land.

    • Ferd Berfle

      So far so good, but there is a 4th:

      4. Physician’s records must be open if and before tort reform is enacted. All too often, a bad Doctor changes locations and practices bad medicine in a different locale. In addition, I, as a client and customer, expect such records to be readily available. As for tort reform, I’m all for it when the insurance companies lose their attorneys, too. If there is to be a level playing field, then by all means, let’s level it. The rights of physicians and insurance companies do not trump mine.

      • Peggy Sue

        Agreed, Ferd. The “transparency” we were promised [though I've seen little of it yet] should be applied even-handedly and across the board. Maybe I’ve been blessed but my experience with the medical community has been very good to exceptional. Are there some bad actors in the field? I’m sure there are. But I think they’re the exception rather than the rule. When true malpractice happens, of course, we should have recourse through the courts. However, I think most reasonable people can agree that litigation has gotten out of hand.

        The recent CBO numbers indicate something in the neighborhood of $55 billion over the next 10 years. That’s not chump change.

        • Peggy Sue

          Whoops! That’s a $55 billion savings in the next ten years if we take tort reform & malpractice insurance seriously. Of course, the lawyers are fighting that notion tooth and nail.

        • Ferd Berfle

          Peggy Sue:

          My experience has been just the opposite. I have moved several times over the course of the last 25 years at the request of my company. Each time, I’ve essentially had to start over with a physician, even after I provided THEM with the necessary paperwork to get my records (note that they themselves never asked for it–I had to “force” it on them). Did they ever read them–probably not because I had to constantly remind them of medications I was taking, illnesses I have had in the past–even though everything is in my chart.

          Yes, litigation has gotten out of hand, a situation that can be traced to greed, and it doesn’t just reside with those who file suits. There are greedy patients, greedy attorneys, *really* greedy insurance companies, greedy doctors, and greedy administrators. There’s a common denominator there, huh?

      • BeenAround

        Since this subject is here….why not.
        You go to a doctor and what do you get when you leave? A piece of paper that say “office visit…and how much you owe”. What does that mean? Not one indication of why you were there or what was the recommendation. You know for your records.

        How would you feel if you had to replace all the plumbing in your house and when the plumber got done he gave you a piece of paper that said “Fixed plumbing…$6000.00″. Or a mechanic rebuilds your engine and all that was on the receipt was “Fixed car…$4000.00″

        Most wouldn’t stand for it..why should we with the medical profession. We should get a full report of the doctors diagnosis and opinions. And not need a court order and have to pay extra for it.

        Also in the little rights to records. They do not have to give you their opinions if it has a bearing on their opinion of your mental health. Here you are trying to tell them something and if their treatment is in part that they think it’s in your mind…then you have a mental health problem…is that not something you would want to know about your doc…he thinks your a wacko?

    • otterwing

      There are just too many loopholes in the current system, too many doctors cover each other’s butts when things do go wrong, too many bad doctors to say that tort reform is a good answer right now.

      I’m sure there are plenty of good ideas out there to make doctors more accountable to the communities they serve.

      Perhaps if there was a way to check on doctors online like there is for so many products,services and businesses these days. Even professors get rated.

  • Ginger

    The govt has the ability to put caps on what an insurance company can charge and on services.

    Medicare could be expanded to encompass those who lose their jobs, etc. But, even Medicare ain’t free to patients.

    I, like creeper, can’t afford to pay for someone else in addition to paying all the other taxes.

  • tango

    I heard one of the reasons why premiums would increase so much is because the CBO report takes at face value the revenue generated by younger people purchasing insurance whereas the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report does not. Their reasoning is the mandate that everyone purchase insurance doesn’t have the teeth to guarantee compliance by those who don’t need it bringing in much needed money.

    How to motivate a healthy 25 year old that he needs to spend $4000 a year buying health insurance that he doesn’t use when when he can just pay a much smaller fine for not having it? He knows (which has been proven in Mass. and their program) that if he DOES get ill where the costs of treatment would be burdensome to him personally, he can then just buy insurance long enough to cover the expenses or treatment. I mean everyone who applies can’t be turned down nor charged more for pre-existing conditions, so he has no worries that the insurance company will ding him for not having coverage when he was well just to apply once he was sick. So once this young person is well enough, delivered their baby, had their broken leg fixed or gone through through cancer treatment and declared “cured”, they cancel coverage and go back to paying a minimum yearly fine until they need coverage again. It will work the same way for middle aged and even old folks too if monthly insurance premiums are too outrageous.

    Lastly, NOTHING the government implements cost less than expected or projected when it’s announced. Even if this report did not come out today, I would never expect the health reform bill coming out of Congress to lessen the deficit.

    Ahh, I see a VAT tax coming soon.

    • Portia Elizabeth

      Exactly!!!

      • trixta

        Spot on, Tango!

  • Five Thirty

    P.S. How long should Hillary stay in her post?

    As long as she keeps doing good. I would have to hope that her original agreement was to only take actions as SOS that she supports within reason and not have to make any pronouncements in support of things she does not.

    She is the Democratic (capital D) presence in the Executive that I was hoping for. (I also like Richard Holbrooke a lot and would also love to see Wesley Clark).

  • Five Thirty

    See, I would not go to insurance companies! for guidance in how to improve safety of the United States’ citizenry in terms of health. It would be like letting the Libertarians decide if we should keep the Social Security program. On the other hand, I don’t feel comfortable at all giving the thing to Mr. Nobel Prize winner and SEIU (after the great job they did in the Nevada caucuses).

    An up-side to all this: I would watch for who in politics these days, (governors, senators, etc.) makes the most sense re: US health care improvement and look at them as potential presidential or v-presidential candidates. Start thinking about the future a little bit.

    • Prime Obot

      Lord knows I agree with you about the insurance companies. You will know those lobbyist scum are lying when they open their mouths.

      Obama and the Democratic Congress has America’s back when it comes to health insurance. They are going to pass a strong bill with a real public option. The insurance companies are screaming because someone finally has the guts and strength to stick it to them on behalf of the American people.

      I understand that my posts on this thread will result in a flurry of posts insulting me and calling me a dumb bot. Whatever. I am right. This bill will pass before the end of the year, and it will include a real public option, and that will be the turning point (in a positive way, finally) for health care in this country.

      • Five Thirty

        Obama and the Democratic Congress has America’s back when it comes to health insurance.

        The thing is, I don’t think Obama knows that much about the subject, except for talking points that he gets from his advisors.

        • Prime Obot

          Well, this is one of those NQ things — community members here have to assert that Obama is ignorant, lazy, doesn’t know these subjects, doesn’t love America, wants to screw over American citizens, blah blah blah.

          Whatever. There’s no point in flaming back and forth about that stuff. What matters is what is in the final bill, and the fact is that the shape of the final bill is, in the past couple weeks, moving in the right direction. And that is why the insurance industry is suddenly screaming.

        • hc123

          Get a grip on reality Prime Obot.

          Obama and the Democrats do not have “America’s back”. You sound foolish even saying it. Seriously, its grade D troll fodder and unworthy of this site.

          Just like all past regimes, the Obama administration has its own back, and the backs of its various supporting groups. For this administration it is the SEIU, the UAW, the AFL-CIO, and the “big pharma” – just to name a few.

          You can waste your time spouting naive bullshit here, but it is just that – a waste of time. Sell it elsewhere, please.

          • Donna Brazile

            The truly sad part is Prime Obutt BELIEVES it!

            It’s amazing when people are so hopeless what they’ll cling to.

            I’m renaming Prime Obutt to Prime DingBot!

            • Donna Brazile

              PS: It’s reminiscent of the Bushie’s and their totally inability to see the fault in Bush.

              • hc123

                Yes, its exactly the same. And exactly as ridiculous.

              • Ferd Berfle

                Bushbot/Obamabot–both invincibly arrogant and ignorant. Prime Obutt is but an irritating wind-up toy.

      • Onofre’s arm

        “Obama and the Democratic Congress has[sic](professional writer my ass) America’s back..”?

        A more accurate metaphore could be “Obama and the Democratic Congress are shoving a big fat knife into America’s back.”

        It would be pointless to get into details with you regarding your distorted perception of the health care debate because you, like many others, have already moved lightyears along a line of flawed reasoning that obviously started with a number of false premises.

        Until there is a mutual acceptance of some basic principles, the debate will only go drearily around in circles.

        • Prime Obot

          Please don’t tell me it’s a waste of time to discuss these issues with me. I’m reasonably knowledgeable and I always argue from good faith.

          Instead, if you would, please tell me your basic principles. I’ll tell you mine:

          *Insurance companies should not be allowed to drop or deny coverage because of preexisting conditions.

          * All people should be required to have health insurance, just like we’re all required to have auto insurance.

          * People who really can’t afford it should be subsidized.

          * There should be tort reform which reduces malpractice spending of all kinds.

          * Finally, there MUST be a strong public option, which everyone believes will help drive down overall prices.

          Okay, there you go. I expect all these things to be in the final Democratic bill. And I’d be fascinated to know what, if anything, you disagree with here.

          Thanks.

          • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

            No public option aka socialism. Really, do you know NOTHING about economics???

            No subsidized or free option to illegals. Period. Illegals – gone – ICE do your job!

            No hidden taxes in order to pay for government regulation and involvement. God knows they will be there.

            No VAT tax. Sorry Nancy. Sell your winery and subsidize us all of us since you’re so hot on socialism, Ms. Botox Brain.

            No penalties to those who do not buy insurance and chose not to – aka socialism. Please, people need to be in charge of their own health. The 34 billion dollar a year health food/drug industry has been under fire for years because it takes away from big pharma and the medical machine.

            No special treatment for unions and unionized members in healthcare cost breaks, etc. Not everyone wants to be a pawn or a clock puncher.

            Responsible TORT reform and responsible cost containment by the medical industry.

            All those that choose to get insurance should not be subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion.

            No more obot absurdities that the healthcare bill won’t cost any additional monies. It just isn’t true. “You Lie!” plays in here as Obama continues to do just that.

            No communist health czar appointed by Obama. Oh wait, hasn’t that already happened??

            Question: Why should all US citizens pay for the insurance companies and medical world excesses? Why is it not prudent, in liberal minds, for the real culprits in skyrocketing medical costs to actually change their modus operandi?

            • Prime Obot

              “Why should all US citizens pay for the insurance companies and medical world excesses? Why is it not prudent, in liberal minds, for the real culprits in skyrocketing medical costs to actually change their modus operandi?”

              You’re right — we shouldn’t. But absent government intervention, in a big way, we are paying, and will continue to pay, until the entire nation is bankrupt.

              Your dogma about socialism is the huge problem here. Every industrialized country in the world has, at the very least, national health insurance. And they all do very well with it. A public option, which would be entirely voluntary, is the only thing that has any prayer of driving down health care costs. Because absent that, there is no competition for the insurance industry, which is completely dominated by a few huge players who have overwhelming market dominance.

              “No more obot absurdities that the healthcare bill won’t cost any additional monies. It just isn’t true. “You Lie!” plays in here as Obama continues to do just that.”

              Wrong. Obama isn’t the only one saying that: the Congressional Budget Office has said that, repeatedly. Virtually all economists and industry experts believe that a public option with national power and scope will drive down overall health spending. It is only reflexively libertarian Republicans who reject the public option as “socialism,” thereby dooming America to the inevitable national bankruptcy that will result from not taking this decisive action.

              Sorry, we can’t afford this right-wing dogma anymore. We WILL get a public option, and it will work, and this nonsense about “socialism” will never be heard again.

              And anyway, for the record, socialism is the collectivization of property and profit. A voluntary public health insurance plan has nothing to do with socialism whatsoever.

              Thanks for a policy-based response, though. I’m getting more and more of those here, and it’s cool.

              • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

                It’s not a huge problem to mention socialism. You are just uncomfortable with the word and possibly the idea since it seems to be a point with you, bot.

                Your continued lack of going beyond the media talking points and surface faithful trust in what the oversight committee says is just what Obama and Co wants. You need to stay UNINFORMED AND NAIVE so that this load of schlock is palatable to you, bot. The rest of us don’t need to act in such a superficial manner. Therefore, no one here is going to agree with the Obama Co litany. You, therefore, must decide how much more head banging you are going to do before you do the actual homework on the truth.

                Go beyond your wiki notion of socialism and become educated about the ramifications of collective thinking and actual process. It isn’t pretty and it has failed in other parts of the world. Furthermore, if you are in an age bracket that is just beginning your ‘career’ you will know that no matter what, twenty-somethings have the most to lose.

                Merkel’s re-election in Germany, with the support of the party that favors capitalism, is a signal that socialism may be on the wane in Europe. Wake-up!

                Why do you and your ilk insist on taking America down a road that has been proven to be unworkable?

                No 2012, hocus pocus, we are the world, and all is one kumbyah hopium thinking is allowed. Even the modern day Mayans admit that the world is not going to end. And neither is the distrust for anything Obama spews when he has proven himself to be a liar and weaver of untruths.

                The issues with providing affordable healthcare lie with the insurance companies and the medical industries themselves. In addition, until doctors feel they can practice without being sued at every corner or until people actually take responsibility to manage their own health this debate will continue.

                Government oversight on insurance company regulations and practices is a far-cry from making everyone pay, either through forced coverage or hidden taxes, and is the only necessary step. The government is more for helping the insurance companies in the long run – not the citizens of the country.

                Take it from someone who worked in the insurance industry for a short time. It’s all about the company and NEVER about the policy holder. And the government will be the biggest enabler of this continued business as usual.

                • Prime Obot

                  You are right that it’s all about the insurance companies. What you haven’t explain is how you anticipate this problem can be solved, absent government oversight and a strong public insurance plan that can negotiate lower rates with the force of millions of policy-holders behind it.

                  If my definition is false, please explain what you consider the proper definition to be. Then explain to me how you feel Obama’s policies qualify. Because honestly, every real leftist/progressive I know of thinks the guy is a sold-out corporatist in thrall to lobbyists, and laughs at the idea that anyone would actually consider him a socialist.

                  I am certainly no collectivist. I’m not in my 20s, either; I’m in my 40s. I was a “libertarian” for years, have voted Republican a few times in my life, still consider Bill Clinton the finest national politician I’ve ever seen, and absolutely believe in human freedom and property rights as embodied in the Constitution one of the most enduring monuments of human intellectual achievement.

                  So spare me the socialist claptrap just because I think a government-sponsored voluntary insurance plan a key component of getting the national budget somewhat back in balance before we torch ourselves forever. At the very least, please explain what on earth you would do in place of it, so I know what position you’re actually arguing from. Tort reform is all well and good, and I support it (as does Obama), but no serious observer considers that a major piece of the puzzle here.

                  I’m also in favor of “people” managing their own health care. But you know, whenever anyone proposes anything rational along those lines — like, suggesting that seniors take more of an active role in making their own end of life decisions — the idiot wing of the U.S. political spectrum turns that into “death panels.” I heard plenty of that here on NQ. So, you know, let’s have a little intellectual honesty about just whose fault it is that our health care debate isn’t as honest and rational as it could and should be.

                  • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

                    Socialism, socialism, socialism… start rocking and humming, bot.

                    First of all, you prove unequivocally that there is a healthcare problem over and above high premiums and pre-existing condition clauses. Start with Michelle Obama’s famous job of shuffling those who couldn’t pay off to another hospital or the equally lovely charging them triple because of no insurance penalties she helped create. Then, prove to someone like me who goes to a doc once a year to renew a prescription should spend thousands and thousands of dollars on health insurance and try to leave out the notion of socialism. It’s already built into the system! Sheesh!

                    Second: No where were death panels mentioned. Fail.

                  • TeakWoodKite

                    but no serious observer considers that a major piece of the puzzle here.
                    ====
                    You said you write as a profession but you aparently have an issue with reading comprehension.

                    I can think of a least a dozen medical professionals who have posted on this site who’ve said that tort reform IS a major problem.

                    I frakin dare you to find a living breathing doctor that is not making changes to their pratice based on this.
                    My doctor of thirty years does not do deliveres. Care guess why?

                    Even for an Obot you are prolifically clueless. Do you actually read the Bull crap you spew?

            • http://firefox Martha Washington Collier

              I like your list better, Buzz.

              And I’d add I don’t want any plan that interferes with the delivery system. Stay out of our relationships with our doctors.

          • hc123

            You feel that Obama “has America’s back”. I feel this is a ridiculous, meaningless statement. Something that only a member of a cult would say without laughing.

            I agree with Onofre that debating you on your current manifesto is a waste of time.

            Here are a few examples to illustrate why you are full of it, and this is just off the cuff:

            Not everyone is required to have auto insurance. Just people who want to drive on public roads.

            Why do you need a “strong” public option and a subsidy for those that cannot afford insurance?

            Why do you need a law requiring everyone to purchase insurance when you also require the “strong” public option?

            Who exactly is the “everyone” that believes a public option will drive down costs?

            Who exactly is the “everyone” that is covered by this “strong” public option?

            You know what, hold your breath until the democrats add tort reform to a bill. Then come back and debate us on it with another ill conceived little laundry list.

            • barborka08

              You are such a empty head. Sorry, but that it is how I can name You. For the first time I vote for Democrat as my choice for President. Whole mass for decades put America where America is right now!!! Mr.Obama is OUR President for only 9 months and who is in His way, people like You!!!
              Screaming that socjalizm is taking over USA, is a another reason why I am calling You an”emty head”.Socjalizmis not communizm.
              Why all this lies about “socjalizm”, You dont understant Yourself, what socjalizm truly is, and just the worl is telling US the true about. So , stop trying to scare people and let us enjoy this blog.Socjaliz-social, it is that simple!!

          • TeakWoodKite

            just like we’re all required to have auto insurance.

            If you choose to drive.

            • http://firefox Martha Washington Collier

              Or you’re an illegal alien…for which we are penalized by the insurance companies by having to pay on our premiums for “uninsured drivers”. That never was on earlier policies (don’t know when it began) but back in the “olden days” (70′s?) if someone hit you and wasn’t insured, your insurance company took care of the policy holder and went after the uninsured for the damages. Now it’s just another version of the more responsible party paying for both.

            • BeenAround

              Grab a horse and try riding that downtown The original auto.

          • BeenAround

            OK let me give it a shot.
            1. Insurance and medicine are big business not big buddies. Social medicine is a lousy term for taking care of your own. We are all here on the battlefield of life in the US. We don’t ask our soldiers “who is your insurance carrier?” when they get wounded..we take care of our own or we should. Instead we box it up like it’s the latest blu-ray only to find it’s still 8mm. And before insurance the healthcare prices were more like what they should be…Moderately affordable and used when needed. So like it or not healthcare is already social because that is the root of insurance. Everybody pays a little to be able to handle the needs of the many. Medical price change=insurance, attorneys and courts. Insurance disproved the fact of getting blood out of a turnip.
            2. Auto insurance is to cover a victim of someones neglect.. yes even if it is ours. The intent is to make whole by performance or compensation. Now mind you I don’t agree with this as a Law, I have always felt that being in public…driving or walking is own risk..but it is acceptable to me so others can socially free. Just think if we had been required to have wagon and horse insurance before autos. Most of this country would still be wilderness.
            3. Again this is HEALTHCARE and we should be taking care of each other. The word is self expanatory. You never know what worthless human being may come along and save your life. So it is in our best interest to keep everyone healthy. Our country has given trillions to a bunch of bums and not one stitch of progress in making sure that the taxpayers will live long enuff to pay it. As a citizen of the US it seems this has been left out of the American Dream.
            4. Either be a doctor that knows what he’s doing or find another profession. I don’t know a tort from a tart but if it is to much for most of us to understand then it is way overworked and useless.
            5. If you want to do enhancements or beautify a birthmark or birth defect..hold a car wash.
            But the basic neccessities? of life..remove that pointy stick from my eye…can you take the tooth out today?…will a broken arm be a problem? is it too much to ask for a peg to fit my leg?

            If the govt can worry about ballplayers, being humane to our food, and healthcare and housing for immigrants. CIA,FBI,Homeland security,China loans. Who is supposed to pay all this? The ones not being taken care of! It’s time to remember that there is (as much as we hate it)DEATH. The byproduct of being born. Quit being penalized by practicing scientists and Bonecutters making you terrified of the inevitable. At the end of the day…they need you to heal yourself.

        • Prime Obot

          PS: Yes, I noticed my error with “has” after I posted. When I write from work I write quickly and generally don’t edit. My apologies. But yes, I am a professional writer, and if I wanted to I could toss off a sentence so elaborate and sprawling and rambling and nonsensical but yet so perfectly balanced and graceful and comprehensible that, rereading it, you’d kind of have to acknowledge that yeah, it was probably written by someone who has spent, say, 10 to 12 hours a day for the past thirty or so years writing and rewriting and then crumpling up a piece of paper and then rewriting again until his sentences were lucid and clear and yeah, embarrassingly-basic-grammatical-error-free, regardless of content, regardless of whether they were, say, extended expositions on the Obama health plan, or extended descriptions of the MAJOR pumpkin patch the writer in question took his daughter to yesterday just after mentioning it on a previous NoQuarter thread, or whatever other topic popped into the writer in question’s mind just before he blasted out a long, rambling sentence (to recapitulate the phrase he used at the beginning of this sentence) in order to prove that yes, he does indeed have the prose chops he claimed for himself…oops, late for a meeting, gotta stop now…be well. ;)

          • Donna Brazile

            Prime DingBot:

            A writer in love with himself– doesn’t that just sum it up so nicely.

            Stop the I’m pretending to be at workfest!

            • Ferd Berfle

              It works at a Starbucks slinging coffee and scones when it can be bothered to actually wait on customers.

              • Prime Obot

                Do you have any idea the degree of personal pathology you reveal by insisting on referring to me as “it?”

                • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

                  Do you realize what it is you do to be called, “It”?

                  • Donna Brazile

                    I like Prime DingBot!

                    He allows the hits to just keep coming. I also love that he believes. It’s so Mulderish. Primey must have been a hugh fan of the X-files.

                    Keep up the good work Buzz!

                    • Donna Brazile

                      PS: I wrote that is like all of 2 seconds! Aren’t I fab?

                      Stop the self grandizementfest!

                    • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

                      Sometimes, you just have to put a stop to the bot BS! LOL!

                • Ferd Berfle

                  The pathology is yours, cretin, which is amply demonstrated by your continuing to post our anal-retentive, control-freakish hogwash on a blog that finds you nothing more than a robotic irritant–hence and “it”. Go defrag your hard-drive, Chester.

                • Ferd Berfle

                  The pathology is yours, cretin, which is amply demonstrated by your continuing to post your anal-retentive, control-freakish hogwash on a blog that finds you nothing more than a robotic irritant–hence and “it”. Go defrag your hard-drive, Chester.

          • TeakWoodKite

            Chapter 7 – A Mad Tea-Party
            There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare Prime Obot and the Hatter FF were having tea at it: a Dormouse Slimy was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head. `Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; `only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

            The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. `There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

            `Have some wine,’ the March Hare Prime Obot said in an encouraging tone.

            Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked.

            `There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.

            .
            1) You are as wack as your “trophy president”; and yes “Obama is ignorant, lazy, doesn’t know these subjects, doesn’t love America, wants to screw over American citizens”
            2))”And all the tea leaves right now are strongly indicating that there will be a public option.” Is that how you get your facts? see above.

            Plus your “Your flat wrong” “I’m right” etc are not the mark of a “writer” of thirty years.

    • hokma

      Doctors and patients should decide on how to improve our health system.

      If you want to improve healthcare government is not the answer. Survey of healthcare denial clearly shows that government (Medicare) has the highest rate of denial over any other healthcare insurance company and most of them are ar less. So placing even more of our healthcare in the hands of government politicians will only make our system worse for us.

      The government, however, should set up the rules better so less people are denied and pre-existing conditions are not a disqualifier to coverage.

      Also, ambulance chasing lawyers who are highly motivated in convincing patients to sue doctors outrageuos punitive damages in cases that do not merit such sums need be reigned in which will significantly lower malpractice insurance premiums (which get passed onto patients) and excessive test and procedures that doctors use to legally protect themsleves against the possibility of a lawsuit.

      We also need to allow for much more competition in the insurance market which will force down prices and profits.

  • avwrobel

    To get health-care reform done well if at all, one has to not care who gets the credit. Repubs are frantic to keep the photo-op of Obambi signing a ‘historic’ bill from happening. If Democrats allowed credit to be given to Repubs and Independents it could happen, despite insurance companies opposition. BTW, they say costs will rise. If nothing is done they’ll still rise. I don’t think though that Obambi and his handlers will share credit, and so will be unable to pass any meaningful reform. Too bad for all of us.

  • hokma

    While Obama is trying to stick to his pledge of not raising income taxes on the middle class he is doing everything to substantially raise taxes and fees on the middle class in every other area.

    To pay for this plan it will require taxing healthcare insurance companies who will pass long every penny onto their customers. They will especially tax what they call “Cadillac Plans.” The terminology is misleading because most people who have those plans are small business owners and require an independent plan. It is very costly because they are not part of a group. And they are not rich. They cannot afford a substantial increase because some ignorant DC political hacks use these plans as a convenient political football.

  • Aaron Kramer

    Why does this surprise anyone? Obama told everyone, insurance companies, big pharma and the American people, that this a health care bill but it is really a TAX BILL. The Goal is to back door a huge tax hike under the guise of healthcare reform. Obama silences his critics until it is too late and then claims, “That they are happy with his bill. Everyone read it and understands it.”

    Healthcare costs will rise because we have more people receiving healthcare using a smaller pool of resources. Remember the federal government is cutting 500 billion from the medicare budget. 15 million people will now have access to care and the number of doctors is the same. Simple economics leads to higher costs and rationing. The irony is that we will still have 20 million uninsured people and the problem won’t be solved through the massive tax hike. So we will have to fix that problem in the future and higher taxes will be the result. These people are a fraud and they will make us all slaves to the state.

  • tek

    That assumption doesn’t really make sense, though, because the whole point of creating a plan that included insurance companies is to give them business in the hope they’ll go along. Private companies are going to protest anything that protects consumers from being gouged, so this action is entirely predictable. The hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, pharmas, et. al. can all protest as much as they like. They have not implemented a system of medical care that benefits the American People. Healthcare for Profit is heinous.

    First root out corruption and waste, then we must have universal healthcare.

    One reason nationalized healthcare was possible in Europe is that doctors were never adulated the way they are here. The professional class in Europe is a step down on the social scale. In the U. S. doctors are near gods.

    • Touchet

      This protest is set up. Made to look like they are resisting, when in reality, it isn’t the companies resisting, its their employees who see what is comming.

      The company itself will make a killing off of it, because the sheer numbers added to their plans will offset any costs they have.

      You can not compare this at all to Europe. The European community has government owned health care for the most part. This is not what is happening here. This is single payer. Its really very simple but flawed. They are telling americans they will have to, buy law, buy insurance from private sources. They ONLY regulation in the bill is that they will have to cover everyone without precondition. No where in the law does it say what exactly is covered, that is left up to the insurance czar after the bill pass for the public option. The only stipulation to that is that if they don’t cover something, it has to be universal….meaning that you can’t cover one thing for one group and not cover it for another. This is basically what is meant when they say “preexisting conditions”.

      Imagine if you will, they decide they won’t cover insulin for anyone. This would be exceptable under that health care bill. Sure they will cover your doctor bill, but not your medication. You will have to buy another insurance plan for medication that covers insulin for everyone. See how that works. So you are covered with your pre existing condition of diabetes, but you won’t get your drugs at a discounted rate. As long as they apply this rule to everyone no matter what they pay for insurance, it doesn’t break the law.

      The same thing will happen as what is now happening with the credit card reform. They will increase the cost based on worse case senario, so that their CEO’s can continue to make the same money. The idea of affordability is campaign rhetoric–they never define it, and don’t make it concrete. Nor do they regulate the cost of it either.

      This bill is nothing more than to fatten the pockets of insurance companies in preparation for the next election cycle. Any senator whom happens to have stock in the insurance company they choose for the government policy, will also make a lot of money.

      They all get more money, we all get stuck with the bill.

      • trixta

        This protest is set up. Made to look like they are resisting, when in reality, it isn’t the companies resisting, its their employees who see what is coming.”

        So true!

    • Prime Obot

      Thank you. All true. The better the Democratic bill becomes, the more the private insurance industry will protest. They will pretend that the bill gouges consumers, but the opposite is true: the better the bill, the more people it will cover, and the more pressure it will put on health care prices, and thus the more it will hurt the insurance industry. The very fact that these price-gouging, policy-dropping scum are protesting is our best indication yet that the good guys are winning in Congress.

      • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

        The delusion just never stops for Prime Obot. Anyone want to fund PO’s mental health care?

        • Prime Obot

          Oh yeah? You disagree with something I wrote there? Care to specify? Otherwise I’ll have no choice but to decide that you’re just insulting the Obot for no reason whatsoever. ;)

          • http://deleted BuzzisbackLatte

            You really can’t hear yourself. Interesting…

  • Pat

    Does anyone remember Hillary stating in the presidential campaign that Obama’s Health care plan would leave approx 20 million uninsured?

  • http://www.BullShit.com Osellingbullshit

    I think Hillary is giving it has best shot. She did it when she was in the Senate, and when she ran for the nomination.

    Whatever she did, she did it better than anyone else. In her interview with NBC ( Anne Curry), Hillary said “No” to running again and that she was looking forward to retiring.

    Hearing that just burns my heart. As a country we missed out on the best leadership that American would have enjoyed.

    I’m going to take a long nap. Please wake me up when this Obama show is over. I’m not yet done puking from the award.

  • Kim

    Any reform to health-care done by this administration will be a complete disaster, and all of us will have to suffer the consequences. It occurred to me, that the requirement for insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions will cause premiums to rise for everyone. Insurance companies aren’t just going to “eat” these added costs to them. They will do what they always do and pass it along to the consumer.

  • jwrjr

    Considering how the Insurance companies stand to profit from the mandatory insurance policies, one has to wonder what promises Obama made to the companies and then he (or the ObamacRats in Congress) threw “under the bus” to get the companies stirred up like this. (The idea that the Insurance companies are concerned about the welfare of the policyholders is simply unbelieveable.)

    • http://www.BullShit.com Osellingbullshit

      “ObamacRats” … this the best lexicon to describe the current (D) in congress. I love it.

      LOL.

      • jwrjr

        It is not original with me (alas). I can think of more accurate terms, but the moderators would probably take exception to them.

    • Touchet

      This is the reason they want it too pass. Look at what just happened with this credit card reform they just passed. I’m getting letters in the mail where my interest rates are increasing to 30%. So sure it was reform, to benefit the insurance companies.

      I mean by now its so plain to see that everything they pass ends up benefiting and putting MORE money into the hands of the super rich at our expense.

      It won’t be long now. The economy will crash soon and we will have another revolution. Sadly, I think it won’t be a good one.

      • Touchet

        sorry, More money into the credit card companies not insurance companies.

      • http://firefox Martha Washington Collier

        I too have begun receiving letters from CC companies saying that as of January they may raise my rates if they choose. As most others, I have excellent credit but apparently that won’t matter. If you say you don’t agree, they close your account to further use (I stopped using my cards anyway) but it reduces your credit points by reducing your available credit. The only one I’ve had a problem with so far is AMEX which raised my rate from 7% to 20% and when I pay ahead, they reduce the amount of credit available, keeping my ratio of amt owing to amt available high. Calling them did nothing.

        I guess the only good business decision would be to go to the credit counseling agencies and have them freeze accounts from your side (or do it yourself) and negotiate the interest rates…I know I’m not going to agree to obscene interest rates I did not have in agreement when I signed for the card. I will have to do some research to see if it’s better to cancel cards yourself of use an agency…the main thing is the leverage to negotiate interest rates.

        However, I believe, hearing a story from one woman on the news, that if enough people call them and threaten they may cooperate. She told them she was going to join the consumer protest and default…I wonder how loud a protest the public will make? It seems self-defeating from their side…

        The good side is that this is training us to get back to cash only. My plan is to keep one card with a very low credit use…say $500 for small emergencies or online payments and cash for everything else.

    • Prime Obot

      It’s called the public option. The insurance companies were on board with the Baucus plan, which in its original incarnation was a legislative atrocity that would have given them tens of millions of captive new customers without doing anything to lower costs. Remember I wrote exactly this back then, a month ago, when so many people here were condemning the Baucus plan as Obama’s plan? Now that the real progressives in Congress, fueled behind the scenes by the White House, have made so much progress in getting a public option into the likely combined bill (as I predicted/hoped/prayed that they would back a month ago), the insurance industry is getting nervous, because a public option will really do something about overall costs, which will really bite into their profit margins. So they’ve decided to try to spike the bill.

      Please don’t carry their water, NQers.

      • jwrjr

        You mean the “public option” that has already been edited out of the bills being considered?

        • Donna Brazile

          Prime Obutt means the public option you can buy at Publix!

          How’s that deal with big Pharma working out for you, Obutt?

          Stop the That One has our back fest! Can you give an example?

        • Prime Obot

          Wrong. All 3 of the bills that passed the various House committees contain a strong public option. The Senate Finance Committee is very conservative; even the Democratic Senators (Baucus, Conrad, etc) are very suspect, and it isn’t likely we’ll get a public option out of that committee. However, it is only when the House and Senate bills are combined and revised in conference that we will know what will be in the final bill that Congress considers and the President presumably signs. And all the tea leaves right now are strongly indicating that there will be a public option.

          • Donna Brazile

            Prime DingBot:

            You live up to your name! What about big Pharma? Or, do you know anything about that deal?

            Stop the I didn’t know fest!

            • Prime Obot

              Of course I know about that deal. I think the White House did everything they could to try and win industry support. I think they probably regret that “deal,” whatever it actually consisted of. But again, all that matters is what is in the final legislation that is passed by Congress and reaches the president’s desk. And progressives are increasingly optimistic that that final bill will be a good one.

              • Donna Brazile

                Another excuse fest!

        • http://firefox Martha Washington Collier

          Yes, in one day, out the next. The Dimocrat/Obama Shell Game; now you see it, now you don’t. GWB didn’t have anything on these people…they’re just the same…

  • creeper

    I didn’t need the insurance companies to tell me my costs would go up under the Obama plan. That’s just simple arithmetic.

    I have good coverage now at a reasonable price (compared to what many people are paying). As much as I believe everyone should have access to health care, I can’t afford to pay for their in addition to my own.

    There must be a better way.

    • creeper

      Ugh. “their” = theirs. Need more coffee.

      As for Hillary, the sooner she bails from this administration the better. She should never have taken the job in the first place. She placed herself in the position of being unable to oppose anything Obama does while her influence is buried under a pile of “czars”.

      I don’t think she should run for governor of New York. I think she should take a page from Sarah Palin’s book (pun unintended) and go back to being a private citizen, from which position she will be free to speak her very fine mind. She’s spinning her wheels working for that one.

    • tek

      creeper: agree completely. That’s why I think we can’t have universal healthcare here until waste and corruption are addressed. I don’t see Obama tackling that. I think he’s afraid to. Afraid his constituents will be exposed.

      • trixta

        If HRC drops out (now) like Palin she will be called a “quitter.” She should only quit after the Dems get their arses’ whipped at the polls in the upcoming Congressional elections and BO’s number drop even further. In the meantime, she’s getting things done on the international stage.

        Funny, I was just telling my husband that while BO is still padding his resume with bogus “accomplishments,” etc., HRC is expanding hers with actual accomplishments. No surprise there!

    • Prime Obot

      I’m sorry, this is flat-out wrong. Has it not occurred to anyone here that the more progress the Democrats make on a strong health care bill with a real, robust public option, the more the insurance industry will oppose it? The whole point of the public option is to create a strong, deep competitor to the private insurance industry, which has raked in trillions of dollars in profits in recent years by utterly dominating markets, squelching competition and keeping rates really high while dropping coverage on anyone who they don’t feel like covering. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year because they are denied insurance by this industry. Hundreds of thousands of American families go bankrupt trying to pay for health care under our present hideous, truly evil system. Do you not see how the interests of the insurance industry — which wants to make as much profit as possible by raising rates as high as possible and paying for sick people’s care as little as possible — and actual consumers like you and me are diametrically opposed?

      And to pretend that Hillary wouldn’t really support this plan? Are you for real? Hillary and Bill proposed an even more expensive, radical, ambitious health care plan back in 1993. They proposed one national health insurance system! The same insurance industry engaged in the exact same horribly misleading, damaging propoganda (remember Harry and Louise around the kitchen table?) and managed very effectively to destroy the Clintons’ plan before it got nearly this far in Congress.

      Come on, man. This diary has absolutely no grip on the reality of the present health care debate. Here is the reality: Obama and Democrats are this country’s last serious hope for genuine health care reform before our present evil botch of a system bankrupts this country.

      • carolhaka

        Tell Obama to close the borders and round up the illegal immigrants and send them home.

        A report on Morning Joe this morning – 8 million visa holders entered and did not exit the country last year.

        Time to go door to door to round them up and throw them out. If they spawned while here, too damn bad.

        Get out. That should save us some money.

        CAROL HAKA :evil:

      • trixta

        PO, open your eyes and don’t believe everything you hear. You’re just plain delusional if you think BO’s plan will save us all money. I would still prefer HRC’s former plan any day than BO’s plan (if you can call it that).

        Also, if BO’s plan (?) is sooooo good then why is Congress opting out of it? In other words, why aren’t Congressmen / women willing to drop their current health care coverage and clamoring to participate in Obamacare?

        • Prime Obot

          In what ways would you prefer HRC’s plan? Bear in mind that “Obama’s plan” is simply a series of proposed plans in Congress, and we don’t even know what the final plan will look like. So I don’t know what you mean when you say Congress is opting out of it?” If anything, the House bills are strong bills as written, and the Senate is moving in Obama’s direction.

    • Zoom

      The bloodsuckers ah-hum, insurance companies are feeling the heat, their lackeys and shills on both sides (Rep. and Dems) are loosing control of the debate.
      The majority of the American people want real reform, not the GOP’s “don’t get sick, but if you do, die quickly!”

    • Beenaround

      No more laws. Next you will be required to buy a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk.
      I have never been real happy about making a law that enriches private business. The auto insurance law I didn’t care for, but it did offer the customer at least a modicum of being made whole. After stuffing their own pockets there is barely anything left for the policy holders. Now lets enrich the companies who have hardly made a stitch of progress in medical research, after billions squandered, and bailouts squandered. These companies will make no guarantee to make you whole and in their arrogance they consider the general population to be idiots and not capable of any logic about your own health. Most PCP’s are unable to diagnose so you end up broke just paying for their guessing game sending you out and let someone else give it a try(That costs in addition to your premium). Where is Marcus Welby? You want better health care? Make the insurance companies responsible for the doctors that they make you go to. No more “If you don’t like us go to someone else” after thousands in premiums paid. They act like they are giving you a free service and are accountable to no-one. If they are going to only allow you to go to their list of physicians then make the HMO/Ins resposible. I believe that if they are going to make a law then offer a govt entity to allow you to abide by the law. Not a private caught you cheatin’ corporation.