Sunday, October 25, 2009

RESPOND TO TOM..........with some excellent comments, particularly a great reminder from Free Thinker, and a link about surgeons you need to read

Tom at STAY A WHILE blog..HERE....answered a comment in my post below and I'm too tired and not quite 'with it' these days to answer completely....could you all take a stab? I know you're up to it: I'd said I was happy with our private insurance and he started with this response (I'm in BOLD):

It's a mistake to judge your good results with your insurance company as the usual result most people and doctors have with insurance companies. According to the current bill your plan will NOT change. You can keep what you have. (Z: this one, I know not to be true because how will my insurance agency stay open if gov't care is so cheap everyone leaves my company not realizing how minimized and bureaucratic their healthcare will be?)

"Do you want your doctor leaving the practice of medicine (as 45% of docs have threatened to do) because he has to check into Washington to see if that MRI is REALLY needed for you?"

Of course not! You are aware that doctors decisions are being dictated by health insurance companies according to what they will pay to cover. Doctors are sick of being told what they should prescribe to their patients by these insurance companies, and a majority (69%) of doctors want health care reform.

A government program is not useless because it has fraud and abuse. ALL government programs have fraud and abuse. Should we eliminate, or deny the Defense Department to Americans because the Defense Department has some of the biggest waste and abuse of any federal program?

"is it American to INSIST on people buying coverage of be punished?$$"

Is it? We already insist on car, property, liability insurance etc. and enforce punishments for not buying that coverage. That is to protect other people from possible harm, not yourself. If all have health insurance, that protects us from the cost of others negligent behavior. Seems that is a proven practice in our society.

Tort reform is great, we need it. But don't kid yourself, it is (according to the CBO) only 2% of the total expense of the medical insurance system. Tort reform will NOT solve the problem, but we should have it.

Competition brings costs down. A non-profit will bring competition.

I do not see strong enough competition within the private health insurance industry to keep costs down. In fact health care costs are sky rocketing far beyond any other industry, so much so, that it is in danger of becoming unaffordable to any one but the rich. That is not good, normal, free market capitalism at work.
If capitalism only serves a minority of its society, then it is a failure.

Yes, those hospitals are being closed down, because those people are not insured. So do we allow the hospitals to be closed, or do we figure out a way to insure that segment of society?

If we make a moral decision that no one will be turned away, then we must also make the moral and responsible decision to financially protect the medical (including hospitals) system by saying that all should be insured.

You didn't speak to the morality of this, which is what my comment was about.

You didn't speak to the costs being taken off the backs of our employers, which I said/think is most important for health care reform to do.

You didn't speak to the abuses health insurance companies are putting upon their PAYING customers, which has so many people seeking health care reform.

You didn't speak to the point that a majority of Americans believe, that people should have access to health care.

"(just) FIX THE PROBLEM"

What is your answer? Tort reform, what else? Your happy, fine, but 10's of millions are not.

In a Democracy, I have to live with much that I disagree with because the majority has decided otherwise.

I have no kids. Why should I pay school taxes?

If someone does not own a car, why should they pay taxes to build roads and bridges?

We do these things for the betterment of society as a whole.

It is selfish of me to not be responsible to the needs of my fellow citizens, just because I do not personally need those services. The taxes I pay, are not just to provide services to me, but to the whole country.

All Americans communally pay taxes for services needed for the whole society, whether they personally need them or not.

So...what do you guys say to TOM. He's a good guy and has good responses, but I think a lot of them will be well responded to by some of you......go at it!

z

65 comments:

FrogBurger said...

"In a Democracy, I have to live with much that I disagree with because the majority has decided otherwise."

Well, that's why the US is a Republic, not a Democracy. It's supposed to make sure there's no tyranny of the majority.

FrogBurger said...

"We do these things for the betterment of society as a whole.

It is selfish of me to not be responsible to the needs of my fellow citizens, just because I do not personally need those services. The taxes I pay, are not just to provide services to me, but to the whole country."

From a moral standpoint he's right. But if it leads to a system that works less, whether it creates a higher *structural* unemployement, reduce the quality of care, or something else, then the good intent leads to poor results. Again it's proven through stats. CA is bankrupt for too much programs, France unemployement doesn't move below 10%, etc... I have good intentions and would be socialist if it was working and helping people. But it's not. That's why I switched gears.

Anonymous said...

Let us imagine that the federal government does really well those things that are Constitutionally specified as a proper role for the federal government, and that it performs horribly those things that it has given itself to do that are not specified in the Constitution. I do not think it is a proper role to tax citizens living in Pennsylvania for expenses incurred in California. If I wanted to live in California, I’d move there … and by the way, this is the reason why our founding fathers gave us sovereign states, to which our principal duty of citizenship lies. Now we can try to confuse this issue by using such nebulous terms as ‘moral responsibility’ to fellow citizens in the context of federal taxation, but that it not how America is supposed to work. It is more to the point, how socialist Europe works.

Are there problems in health care that need our attention? Yes, of course. Is this something in which the federal government should be involved? Given the role of Congress in matters relating to interstate commerce, I have to answer ‘yes.” But the federal government should not ‘take over’ private enterprise, and it should not usurp the sovereign power of our several states. Whoever cannot figure this out must be suffering from an over-abundance of socialist education.

Semper Fi

Mustang

Ducky's here said...

I will say that when you have health care costs growing at exponential rates and threatening to consume 25% of the GNP within a decade you have to admit this is a problem.

When torts consume about 3% of health care costs then calling for reform as a comprehensive solution is simply irresponsible.

Tort reform is simply a meme that supports of insurance company skimming want to keep in the news to deflect substantive debate.

beamish said...

We want the same federal government that built substandard storm levies in New Orleans to be in charge of health care?

We want the same federal government that sent men off to war a year before they sent sufficiently armored vehicles to fight that war and two years before engaging in a strategy to win that war in charge of health care?

We want the same federal government that taxes smokers to subsidize tobacco farmers in charge of health care?

Anonymous said...

Tom -

The operative word in, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is "pusuit".
Not guarantee of happiness, but the freedom to pursue it.

It's pretty clear that what you do as an individual to achieve your happiness is up to you.

"Americans spoke in the twentieth century about such moral issues, when by majority we supported and made law programs that help Americans, like Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, etc., etc."

Social Security is now unsustainable given the baby boom generation. It also relieved families of the responsibility for caring for their own elderly. Not particularly moral if you ask me.

Medicare is broke. Food stamps and welfare created generations of permanently dependent Americans on government.

They now see themselves as victims, rather than people who need a little help now and then.
And who now see those who saw to their own needs as "selfish".

You can't legislate morality. Government programs are one size fits all. It removes choice from the human equation, and in the long run creates dependency and makes of government, our masters.

To say we can keep the private health insurance we now have is a lie. For one thing, the government needs everyone to pay into it to make it work, and even then it will be unsustainable.

For another thing, why should a company provide healthcare insurance when they can rely on the government to do it and remove themselves from that employee benefit, or obligation?

Add to private insurance and the health or medical industry, more regulation, taxes and fees, which drive up costs, and you have two industries which cannot compete with government which is the political goal in the first place.

"Doctors are sick of being told what they should prescribe to their patients by these insurance companies, and a majority (69%) of doctors want health care reform."

Surely you don't believe that the government would take a hands-off approach regarding doctors. It has been made clear already, if you have read any of the healthcare bills, doctors would have to conform to government standards and cost effective resuts which would be the guiding rules.

Rationing would be inevitable, in order to keep costs down, and costs will still rise, because when it comes to the government, it always does.

Yes private insurance is a bureaucracy. However if you are insured by the government you can't opt for another plan or opt out.

You're stuck with a bureaucracy which is more multi-layered and ultimately destined for incompetence, as all government entities are, except the military.

More importantly, your life would not be your own. You will be in a position of hoping, and relying on a behemoth of a system to which you will be at their whim or mercy.

Tort reform would lower costs. But, more importantly, if commerce laws were deregulated to permit country wide competition across state lines between private insurers, it would end the state quasi monoplies insurance providers now enjoy.

More insurance companies would crop up, and the free market would work it's magic. It always does.

Finally, what you see as moral, and unselfish, is simply an illusion. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

However, this road has one political goal and that is power and control.
They're crunching numbers in DC, and that's what we're destined to be if government healthcare becomes a reality. Numbers!

Pris

FrogBurger said...

"You can't legislate morality."

That's 1000% right. Each time the gov thinks it uses moral authority, it is for other purposes: more power and corruption. When Obama speaks about executive salaries but do not address the salaries of his buddies at Goldman Sachs and Chase is a perfect example of that.

Collectivist systems that used morality were the most immoral ones. Capitalism and freedom with the rule of Law bring more ethics than socialism, communism or fascism.

Ducky's here said...

Let us imagine that the federal government does really well those things that are Constitutionally specified as a proper role for the federal government
------------------------

You mean like "promote the general welfare"?

Hard to do with Kapital in control.

Anonymous said...

Ducky

I agree that promoting the general welfare is certainly nebulous enough to keep Congress busy, but do you discern a substantial difference between 'promoting general welfare' and 'seizing' private interests? Sure you do.

I’m sure you recognize that turning private interests over to unions, regulating executive salaries, imposing limitations on free speech, shoving the government's health care plan down our throats, spending obscene sums of money to bail out companies that should go into bankruptcy, or agreeing to an international treaty based on false science does go beyond ‘promoting the general welfare’.

Less government equals more individual freedom; more government equals less individual freedom.

I know that you, as a Stalinist, already know this ... I was just unable to resist reminding everyone of where you come down on such things as individual liberty, responsibility, and accountability.

Mustang

Tom said...

Z,

I hope those that read this post will also read your previous post where you and I started this thread, and understand even better where I'm coming from. So to continue from your last comment on the previous post:

We have representation, although you and I might not be happy with that representation. It is our responsibility to hold those legislators to making honest, responsible decisions, which I believe we have failed at. It's not a matter of left/right politics, it's a matter of competent oversight and process.

The possible abuses mentioned here by anonymous of a federal system are a real problem, but those kind of abuses are already happening in the private system.

Private insurers have been abusing their paying customers for decades, which is why more people are backing a public system hoping that would not only lower costs but stop some of the abuses.

I agree that is a false conception by many. The same kind of abuses will happen within a public system.

Private insurers already dictate to doctors what treatment they can offer their patients according to how much they are willing to pay for procedures and deny to pay for procedures. That is rationed health care.

I have heard some good ideas from Republicans like tort reform, but again, it is such a small % of the problem it does not offer a reason to base reform on. Certainly tort reform should be part of a larger reform package.

Other Republican ideas I've heard like eliminating the ban on interstate purchase of insurance is a good one. The Co-ops idea is a bad one.

Do we (as a country) agree on some of the problems? I believe Republicans have agreed with the left on some of the problems. Cost, portability, availability, denial of procedures, doctors control on prescribed treatment, eliminate previous condition bans and more.

So what is the best way to solve as many of these problems as possible? I believe in reform. I believe the status quo is not working. I prefer regulation over government takeover, but will Republicans be willing to regulate the private insurers?

Can we pass laws that make it illegal for private insurers to stop the abuses mentioned above?

What about the uninsured, without which our system would not be in such a financial mess.

Is it fair for CA to go bust giving care to illegals based on a must give emergency care rule, yet not help pay those bills?

It's the federal system that allows so many illegals to cross the boarders. Is that CA's fault? We (national taxes) should be helping to pay those bills.

Back to my original point. This is a moral decision. Do we (as a nation) accept people dying early or needless suffering because they have no access to health care?

If good intended programs are being abused or going broke who's fault is that? Our representative's fault, our fault.

Would Social Security be going broke if we had not borrowed against it for decades spending it on wars and other uses not intended?

If Social Security is insurance against old age poverty, why do we not means test the recipients?

How about free clinics for the uninsured for GP care staffed by recent grads to pay off their college loans?

How about catastrophic insurance backed by government to cover the large bills of the uninsured?

Social programs do not automatically lead to Socialist government. They are simply a tool to provide for a large number of people.

Joe said...

“You are aware that doctors decisions are being dictated by health insurance companies according to what they will pay to cover.” Blatantly false.

“Should we eliminate, or deny the Defense Department…” Of course not. We should develop more and more government programs that can emulate the fraud and waste in the Defense Department.

“We already insist on car, property, liability insurance etc. and enforce punishments for not buying that coverage….” Owning a car, property, etc. is voluntary. Nothing about this health plane is voluntary. It is forced.

“Competition brings costs down….” Competition among business brings costs down. Competition with the government never has, will not now nor will it ever bring costs down. It will only reduce the profits of insurance companies to the point that they will be run out of business.

“I do not see strong enough competition within the private health insurance industry to keep costs down. In fact health care costs are sky rocketing…” Those are two different issues: Health Insurance and Health Care Costs.

“You didn't speak to the costs being taken off the backs of our employers…”
This is one of the places the problem began after WWII. But it is not a reason for health care costs are so high.

“In a Democracy, I have to live …” You don’t live in a Democracy. You live in a Republic.

“I have no kids. Why should I pay school taxes?” You shouldn’t have to. You do because government is VERY BAD at running schools.

The rest of your points about taxes make a GREAT argument in favor of a consumption income tax system (which BTW I do NOT support).

Tom said...

Joe,

Your against a lot of things. What are you for? What are some of your ideas and solutions? What should we do Joe? Do you think the current system is just fine?

Z said...

Tom: you said"Private insurers have been abusing their paying customers for decades, which is why more people are backing a public system hoping that would not only lower costs but stop some of the abuses."
It's impossible for me to trust in some government panel looking over MY healthcare and that there won't be far more abuses than now. FIX the insurance companies, and LET THEM BE FOR-PROFIT! Since when does AMERICA have a president who spits out "FOR PROFIT" as if that means "DISGUSTING and AMONINABLE?" it's almost like living in Cuba.
Also, I believe the co-op is the best idea yet.

You said "Private insurers already dictate to doctors what treatment they can offer their patients according to how much they are willing to pay for procedures and deny to pay for procedures. That is rationed health care."

It depends on the system. We never got turned down ONCE for anything the insurance company was presented with and we had one of the Blues, not some fancy even higher-costing system.
I don't WANT mine tampered with and it's simply NOT TRUE that "we can keep ours"....not at all.
When people who aren't up on the subject choose the cheaper gov't option, THEN they will find out HOW cheap it is, they'll find out what REAL rationing is, and the Blues and other good companies will be gone for lack of subscribers...simple. obama's LYING about that. Well, HE isn't because I don't get the feeling he even knows what's going on, but Pelosi's lying.

JOE: it's the democracy that's killing us. It's people voting who don't read English and have no clue. It's people voting for hand-outs, not what's best for America, don't you think?

Z said...

Joe, I'm with TOM....give us your ideas, please.

FrogBurger said...

BTW I ignoring all posts from Ducky and Psiko Bond now b/c I'm trying to spare me the bickering for more productive things. I don't have to convince the unconvincable. Only the miserable life created by crap and trade, socialized medicine and high unemployement will convince you. So if one of you guys are posting comments re my post, you won't get responses. Including to this one :)

Tom said...

FYI,

Senator Reid is giving a press conference now. He is announcing the health care bill. It includes an opt-out public option and a Co-op provision. Can't wait to read the bill. Got to go make some money to pay for all this, later.

Anonymous said...

Tom, if you decide not to read the bill because you’re too busy, we’ll understand. It will also make you eligible for a seat in the Congress …

Heh

Semper Fi

Mustang

Anonymous said...

Tom, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Medicaid is a program for the poor. It's broke too.

Furthermore, I don't believe anyone should be required to have insurance. You can't forget that there is a percentage of people out there that prefer to pay out of their pockets. They should be free to do so.

In fact the uninsured can get care, they just will be billed for it.

We hear how there's so much abuse and waste in Medicare and Medicaid, both government run. So, your answer to that is, an even bigger government healthcare program for 300,000,000 people?

In other words, the government's saying, "we can't run smaller government healthcare programs competently, so let's institute an even bigger one full of more waste and abuse".

No one is saying that private healthcare insurance is not without it's problems. However the only thing that can bring the cost down is competition in the private market.

In order to have a vibrant insurance industry, removal of barriers is what's necessary so as to open up that market.

If you want guarantees for every single American, it's not possible. There will always be those who live outside the norm and outside a responsible living standard.
It's a matter of priorities as I've said before.

For instance, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for the person who buys a new car every two years, and all that entails, and then whines because he can't afford health insurance.

We haven't even discussed the cost, which my children and grandchild will be stuck with forever. America can't afford it.

There's no money for it, and I promise you the estimates are divined by those who are determined to inflict this boondoggle on the people no matter the cost, and no matter that we don't want it.

If you ask me, we were better off before health insurance began. Doctors and hospitals were competetive, and charged whatever the going rate was. If they wanted patients they had to be competetive.

Now patients have to pay for insurance, overhead, doctor's insurance costs which are passed on as well, and government bureaucracy.

Personally, I'd rather borrow money to pay off a medical bill instead of being taken over by the government. Anything, rather than give up my autonomy as an American.

Pris

Always On Watch said...

Pris,
I believe Medicaid is a program for the poor. It's broke too.

Medicaid is broke?

Interesting, because the hospital tried to push Mr. AOW onto the Medicaid rolls.

As I understand it, each state has its own guidelines for Medicaid. Here in Virginia, the spouse's assets are looked into, as well as IRA's, trusts, etc. Nothing is exempt from being tapped before Medicaid kicks in.

Always On Watch said...

Tort concerns add a sizable percentage to every medical bill sent out.

I've heard that docs having to run multiple insurance coverages have to add at least 30% to every bill to cover the costs of overhead and of specialized personnel.

Always On Watch said...

Pris said:

I don't believe anyone should be required to have insurance. You can't forget that there is a percentage of people out there that prefer to pay out of their pockets. They should be free to do so.

I knew a few people with deep pockets who did exactly that and without any problem, even when the medical bills soared close to $1 million (brain cancer).

I also know a few people who lacked insurance or enough coverage via insurance who lost all their private property, including their homes.

FrogBurger said...

Gotta love this
Obama already golfed more than Bush while Afghanistan is going down. Too funny.
Another example of the hypocritical left.

Anonymous said...

Hi AOW, I just know that it was reported on the news, that all government healthcare programs were operating in the red except MedicareRX. I admit I don't know much about Medicaid. It sounds to me like Virginia does it right.

Of course living here in California, everything's operating in the red. However that doesn't stop our legislature from raising taxes and passing more legislation we can't afford. But, I digress.

For people to lose everything because of illness is very sad. However, I do think if people can afford not to have insurance they have that right.

I just believe if we'd never had medical insurance, medical care would be much more affordable than it is now. Insurance and government programs in themselves have driven up costs IMO.

It also gives people a false sense of security I think, and savings aren't included in healthcare planning because people have insurance and depend on that alone, for healthcare.

Yes, we pay for that overhead. No question.

Thanks for the input.

Pris

Faith said...

Pris said: "I just believe if we'd never had medical insurance, medical care would be much more affordable than it is now. Insurance and government programs in themselves have driven up costs IMO."

That's been my impression too, that the costs have increased enormously because of all the bureaucracy. I do transcription for some doctors and it seems that most of what their office staff do is talk to insurance providers about what is covered and what isn't. The doctors also have to write personal letters negotiating to get paid for this or that service. All that takes time and costs money. All the fraud connected with the government programs also drives up costs.

Seems to me there used to be a time when medical care was affordable for the average family out of pocket, but maybe I'm dreaming. Of course it was a lot simpler in those days too. Now we pay for a lot of high-tech services that do save lives.

But on the topic of the blog, I agree with those who say that health care is not a right and not the government's business -- along with many other things they've made their business that aren't. Socialism is nothing but legalized theft. Helping our neighbor should be voluntary. Taxation should be limited to the absolute minimum necessary to run the government itself.

Tom said...

I use CBO figures because that's what legislators use to price out their proposals, and every plan is scored by the CBO. I have no idea if they are correct, or not, but that is the source all politicians go by when pricing their bills.

Every program that I can remember has spent more than originally quoted. For me, it's a given that any program will cost more than the politicians say it will.

Let me repeat myself. I don't like this plan. I don't like Obama's plan. So what should we do?

Do you think you can get doctors services and give him a couple of chickens for pay? Barter was often the payment plan in the old days.

Insurance is to protect people from expenses they cannot afford.

If a single guy who makes $30,000. a year (well over minimum wage) after taxes can he afford the $1,300. a MONTH the average private health care insurance plan costs? What if he breaks a leg and gets a $6,000. bill for medical services, can he pay that and not be wiped out? That's a common less expensive procedure.

Please, go back to the old days. Take the other extreme and put the whole country on single payer.

I can't debate apples and oranges. If we were talking about 300 million people forced into the public option, yes, it would be a different discussion. We are not! And as much as you like to say that, it's not true and you will not be forced to take government health care.

Not EVERY American is going to be forced into government care. In fact the CBO estimates that less than 10 million will sign up for the public option the first year, which would be 4 years away, or longer.

Please, be happy we don't live in Cuba and use a realistic example.

If you don't understand that millions of people have been abused by their private insurance companies, then you haven't studied the problem. It is true.

We have to decide what services we want and how much we are willing to pay for them.

Of course programs are going broke and we are over 11 trillion in debt, because we are unwilling to pay our debts.

This generation (30 years) built up that 11 trillion debt after this country went 200 years with hardly any debt. There's no reason (except selfishness) that we should have any debt.

If you don't want these programs, fine, get enough people to agree with you and eliminate them. We can go back to the 19th century when old people died early and homeless, children starved, etc...We as a society rejected that and knew it would cost us $$$$$

If Obama says he can pay for health care out of the savings of the waste of current programs, he is lying. If he could do that, then he should just eliminate ALL government waste and we would be out of debt in 10 years.

Politicians pander to voters with "no new taxes" motto, yet we keep spending.

Do we think America is free? There is a high cost to being the best country in the World, and it is irresponsible for politicians to promise services and not collect enough to pay for them. Our grandchildren are already paying for our selfishness.

Saving future American generations from paying for our refusal to pay our current bills, was lost years ago.

The best thing our generation can do for future Americans, is to pay off our selfish debt before we pass on. That's right pay up 11 trillion dollars.

If your mad about that, or think I'm crazy ask yourself who's fault is it that we have all this debt?

Reagan 4-1/2 trillion debt during his administration. Bush 5-1/2 trillion debt during his administration. This is not debt from 40-50-60- years ago, this is our debt.

Raise wages, maybe then we can all afford to buy our own insurance, or pay doctors directly, or save for our own retirement. The average wage would need to be about $85,000. a year. If salaries were high enough, we would need no social programs.

shoprat said...

I wonder how much medical care would cost if Uncle Sam and Insurance companies weren't there propping up prices. It is quite possible that if various helps for medical expenses were less complete that mere reality would have kept costs lower.

Tort reform, eliminate fraud, and let people pay for their own routine care. That is a start.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
The use of the 2% or 3% figures for tort costs is simply the estimated actual payout for tort awards. The hidden cost is as AOW said in the cost of insurance against a tort findings. All businesses include overhead costs in their product price.

So tort reform is really a much bigger deal than portrayed here by Tom and Ducky. I will agree it certainly won't pay for health care reform but it would certainly put a good dent in it.

It is good to have a commenter here who is not driven by ideology, but by facts. I learned a lot reading Tom's responses. Well done.

Faith said...

I had more like the 50s in mind, rather than the 19th century, and money rather than barter when I said people could afford medical care at some time in the past, but I don't know how many could and how many couldn't. I do know that the administrative bureaucracy -- for either private insurance or government insurance -- costs tons and raises costs prohibitively for the average person out of pocket, FORCING everyone except the superwealthy to insurance solutions and the poor to no solutions.

That $6000 for a broken leg probably wouldn't be half that much if it weren't for those inflated costs.

Shoprat's solution sounds good to me.

Tom seems to be tallying up problems with the existing system (and I agree that people often have to fight with their private insurance companies and often lose) but I can't get a grip on what the solution is according to him, how it would work etc.

Anonymous said...

Tom, unfortunately raising salaries quickly enough is not realistic. The more businesses are taxed and regulated, the less employees will earn. They will only be too willing to give over our healthcare to the government.

The current administration is about leveling the playing field. In order to level it, lower expectations are in order.

Power is control of the masses and we are the masses. If any entitlement like government healthcare passes, it's simply another power grab in the image of other countries which have already garnered control of their populations.

We will lose more and more freedom until we will wonder where America went. I'm beginning to wonder already.

We know there are solutions to the problems of healthcare without a government takeover. That is not what is wanted by the powerbrokers in control, and they are determined to have their way, no matter what.

Once we accept they care nothing about our welfare, we can see the reality of the price of power, and we are the ones who will pay the price.

Just today we were lied to again. The opt out option is a trick. The government will tax and regulate private insurance companies to the point where they cannot sustain themselves and states cannot opt out of government healthcare because of the hue and cry of the electorate, and private insurance will be priced out of the market.

Tom, you are right that we all will not be forced into government coverage right away. It doesn't begin to go into effect until 2013 after the 2012 election, interestingly.

However for me I am not concerned so much for Mr. Pris and I. I am concerned for my children, my grandson, and their future.

I cannot in good conscience sit by and not speak out against this. It's against everything I would leave to my children, and that's freedom to choose and live with control over their own lives as we have.

And, I believe for this administration, it's only the beginning.

Pris

Z said...

Tom, you're absolutely wrong, m'dear...you said "I can't debate apples and oranges. If we were talking about 300 million people forced into the public option, yes, it would be a different discussion. We are not! And as much as you like to say that, it's not true and you will not be forced to take government health care."

Someone here will have the page number of the bill which clearly states that no more private ins. plans can be written after a period of 2 years from implementation of this horrid bill. If that was taken out, I'd be surprised.
Also, I"m VERY RIGHT, I believe, in reminding people that there will BE NO PRIVATE INSURANCE available to us when most Americans don't do their homework or THINKING and actually think the gov't cheaper option is going to do GOOD by them and BUY INTO IT only to find that they miss their private insurance. HOw can private insurance stay available when most people have left it for that cheaper bad coverage?

FrogBurger...isn't the hypocrisy unbelievable? Thanks for this reminder.

I'll just say one thing:

A COUNTRY WITHOUT A TRUTHFUL AND FREE MEDIA IS NOT A FREE COUNTRY.

That's the new America....dumbed down indoctrination in our schools AND media and presidents demeaning the side which doesn't sing "mmm Barack Hussein Obama..mmm mmm mmm.."

Z said...

FREE THINKER POSTED THIS ON MY INSURANCE POST BELOW...THIS IS SO SO SO IMPORTANT AND INFORMATIVE AND SUCH A CONTRIBUTION TO THIS DISCUSSION I HAD TO REPRINT HERE...
As I responded to him on the other post, THIS is free market, this is AMERICAN goodness, THIS is the way we get care if we can't afford it.. bravo, FT. HERE IS HIS COMMENT REPRINTED HERE:


Anonymous (Free Thinker) said...

My own personal experience with private health insurance, which I always managed to purchase, even though I was "statistically poor" for much of my adult life, has been very good.

Before I bought insurance, I was seriously ill a couple of times, and the hospitals and doctors involved allowed me to pay (very) small monthly installments -- at no interest -- till the debt was paid off. Somehow, I always managed to honor my commitment to them and to live decently at the same time. It CAN -- and SHOULD -- be done.

I believe we should carry insurance only for catastrophic illness. No one should expect anyone to subsidize the care of ordinary ailments like colds, flu, scraped knees, or vague symptoms that can't be clearly defined.

I have noticed that the more government gets involved with health care the more cumbersome, hugely expensive and limited it becomes.

I am very glad to learn that Mr and Mrs. Z had a good experience with insurance during Mr. Z's tragic final illness. I too have been part to much serious illness and disability, and have nothing but respect and gratitude for doctors, nurses and their assistants.

Lawyers, however, are another matter altogether.

~ FreeThinker

Z said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20091026/hl_time/08599193148100

you think this problem will improve with Obama care?

Tom said...

I'll bet it would be a doctors nightmare to try and collect from individuals. I'm sure they would rather get their sure check from an insurance company.

If government is so inept in it's services, why would anyone choose the public option? Even if it is cheaper.

"Someone here will have the page number of the bill which clearly states that no more private ins. plans can be written after a period of 2 years from implementation of this horrid bill. If that was taken out, I'd be surprised.'

It's the blue dog Democrats that are making this plan be compromised beyond what most of the Democrats wanted.

If there is a provision in the bill that FORCES buying government health care - the bill will not pass.

So I'll take you up on a bet that a "forced buy in" provision will not be in the bill.

Faith,

Just spouting possibilities here.

Any changes we need (and we need many changes from the mess we have now) can be made without government takeover.

I'm for regulation not government insurance.

This all started on the previous post when I brought up the idea that most Americans MORALLY think all Americans should have health care coverage. I agree with that moral stand, but that doesn't necessarily mean the only way to do that is government insurance, although that is one way to cover everyone.

Elmers Brother said...

and I saw an article today that said those awful insurance companies...aren't making those hug profits that they've been characterized as having

and with Medicare the highest denier of benefits

I don't think the gubmint take over is a good thing

Anonymous said...

"I'll bet it would be a doctors nightmare to try and collect from individuals. I'm sure they would rather get their sure check from an insurance company."

Tom, under your premise above, we should have consumers insurance, for heaven's sake.
People pay their car payments, credit card payments, don't they?

Many years ago, when medical insurance was in it's infancy, it didn't cover doctor's office visits, prescriptions, or tests, we paid for them.

I never heard that doctors were having trouble getting paid, and they accepted monthly payments as well.

I agree with FT, that the best answer is insurance for catastrophic illness, with a high deductible.

Then, health insurance would truly be for the sick. As it is now, it is abused and people run to the doctor for every little thing expecting insurance to cover it.

Are we so spoiled as a society, that we expect every hardship to be taken care of by the government? When did it begin that we couldn't take care of our own responsibilities?

When did we go from needing occasional help to constant intervention from the government, to the point where we as taxpayers are now subsidising even mortgages!

You rely on the government, you belong to the government. It's as simple as that!

Pris

Always On Watch said...

Pris,
For people to lose everything because of illness is very sad.

It's not just the patient who loses everything. So does the spouse.

Always On Watch said...

Shoprat said:

I wonder how much medical care would cost if Uncle Sam and Insurance companies weren't there propping up prices.

Spot on.

Ducky's here said...

The hidden cost is as AOW said in the cost of insurance against a tort findings.

---------------------------

It would be beneficial to quantify this but I'm waiting for one of you to tell me how tort reform is going to reduce premiums in what is a non competitive market.

Of course you can look at states where caps have been enacted. Go ahead ...guess what.

Tort reform is simply a red herring to scam the suckers from looking at true cost reductions. Now there we have to look at doctors, hospitals and insurers. But I can count on the right to look for a silver bullet.

Ducky's here said...

I agree with FT, that the best answer is insurance for catastrophic illness, with a high deductible.

-------------------------

Do you also agree that is a low profit product and insurers will resist mightily?

Jen said...

How can anyone seriously believe that if this bill includes a 'public option', it will allow for competition with private insurance? That's willful ignorance. Private companies simply cannot compete with the government when it comes to price.

Ducky's here said...

Why are you afraid of competition, Pinky?

Lower insurance premiums are a negative?

Or maybe you're from the shoprat school and think the natural outcome of an unregulated monopoly is low prices.

Anonymous said...

Ducky, if there were no restraints on availability of insurance across state lines, insurance companies would be forced to offer catastrophic coverage.

The competition would create what the market demands. Monopolies don't have to compete and neither does the government.

"Tort reform, eliminate fraud, and let people pay for their own routine care. That is a start."

This is the Shoprat school I'm from.

I'm old enough to remember that school, and it was far superior. Complete coverage drives up prices.

In fact it works quite well for us now. We don't have dental insurance, and we get a break on the cost.

Pris

Freedomnow said...

Public Option is not competition. That is an outright lie...as Obama and Frank said, the Public Option is the path to a Single Payer system.

When the government moves in offering free health care (paid for by taxpayers) and a limitless pocket book, competition dies out. The Public Option is the only man left standing. Our government will be able to operate at a loss because they are funded by taxpayers, while private insurance cannot.

Private insurance still needs to supply the "kapital" to pay medical professionals, buy medicine, pay for medical facilities and equipment, etc... while competing against a Public Option that doesnt have to make a profit. Private insurance has to make money not only to pay for medical treatment, but to pay their own expenses. They cannot compete with a free insurance plan, which is government funded.

That is the design of the Public Option and many current leaders of the Democratic Party have been caught on record recommending this course of action. Intentionally misleading taxpayers in this manner is unforgivable.

Jen said...

I'm all about competition if you're selling similar items.

I'm not willing to pay lower premiums for lower quality of care. I've seen it in practice and I'm not interested.

Tom said...

So what will the Republicans do to counter this Democratic bill? What can the Republicans offer Americans to satisfy their anger against the medical insurance companies, which is the basis for the support of this kind of government action and interference.

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

TOM ...you say "What can the Republicans offer Americans to satisfy their anger against the medical insurance companies, which is the basis for the support of this kind of government action and interference."

No, it's not. I believe it's getting something for nothing that's beguiling Americans....it's why only certain of the public are for the public option.

Lieberman is fighting against it, bless him.

Z said...

Ducky, wasn't it you who said insurance companies are non-profit?

Z said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_care_overhaul

A window into the disgusting lies of the Left...Reid says that NOW they can "enter into debate"!? Wait, all the leftwinger TV and radio talk hosts have said the Right was involved in debate ALWAYS.....what's this "NOW they can enter into debate?" Thanks, Reid, for exposing the truth. That "they've always been involved" is ALMOST as dumb and evil as "The Republicans have no ideas!"

the linked article above is just another window into the disgusting idea that government can compete with private insurance when the gov't isn't profit.

Pardon my language, but I'm speaking with the venom of myself AND MY DEAR ANGRY HUSBAND now when I say :

WHAT THE FREAK HAS HAPPENED TO THIS COUNTRY WHERE WE NOW HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO HAS TAKEN AWAY THE TWO LAST NEGOTIATING CARDS AMERICA HAD IN WORKING AGAINST NUKES IN IRAN BY REMOVING THE POLISH AND CZECH MISSILE SHIELDS (THEREBY PISSING OFF 2 ALLIES COMPLETELY)...WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO SAYS 'PROFIT' AS IF IT WERE 'TYPHOID', WHO APOLOGIZES FOR OUR GREATNESS AROUND THE WORLD, AND MORE?

Sorry to go off topic,but the insurance thing certainly begs the question about PROFIT.
Suddenly, we are not a Christian Nation, we're NOT a country that respects PROFIT making and we're supposed to abhor capitalism...

where the hell did america go?
By the way...anybody hear what Sarkozy said about having to go to other European leaders now because Obama's dropped our standing in the world? NO? Gee, he SAID it, must be you're only listening to the msm. You find that RIGHT?
Here's all I can find....I WISH I could find what he said just the other day that was even worse about our fearless damned leader:
http://theobserver1.newsvine.com/_news/2009/09/27/3322314-sarkozy-mocks-obama-at-un

END OF TIRADE :-) (how'd I do, honey?)

Leticia said...

Wow! I was going to add my thoughts but most of it was covered by almost everyone that commented, hee....

Tom said...

"No, it's not. I believe it's getting something for nothing that's beguiling Americans....it's why only certain of the public are for the public option."

I disagree. Americans have been upset with insurance companies for decades. It has been growing. Polls still show a majority of Americans want reform and a public option. I think you don't realize that abuses by insurance companies are wide spread.

I don't believe all the talk for insurance reform is do to the selfish position that Americans just want health insurance for free.

Americans know it is not going to be free. Whether they pay private insurance companies, the government , a Co-op, whatever.

Anonymous said...

If I were to set aside $5000 for medical insurance and then my taxes were increased by $5000 to fund a public-option program, I would no longer be able to spend that $5k on a private insurer. Having nowhere else to go, I would take the public option. My objection would not be to the existence of a public option. My objection would be to the reuirement that I pay for it regardless of using it.

At this point you may think this is an undue burden on those opting for the private option. Wouldn't it be more fair to those opting for a private insurer to write off their insurance bills as tax credit? But giving this special privilege to insurers would allow the insurer to bilk the customer. Even if the insurance cost goes up, the customer is still better off buying insurance than paying the doctor directly if the insurance payment is a tax credit.

At this point you may think that the tax credit for insurance is an unfair burden on those who would rather pay the doctor directly. Why not let the patient write off medical payments as a tax credit? That way the insurer doesn't receive special privilege.

At this point, you're realizing that doctors could jack their prices up without fear of losing customers who want to take advantage of the tax credit. At this point, you're understanding why Ludwig von Mises referred to the socialistic state as "Planned Chaos".

tiob

Anonymous said...

I object to the description of amassing debt as "stealing from our children and grandchildren". Increasing debt creates more money without creating more wealth. This reduces the value of the dollar, thus taking away wealth from those who have already saved dollars. Those most hurt are those who aren't making more dollars. Thus, we are really stealing from our parents and grandparents.

tiob

Anonymous said...

"To promote the general welfare" is one of the reasons the Constitution was established and ordained (preamble). It is not one of the enumerated powers given to Congress (Article I), or to any other branch of the government.

tiob

Anonymous said...

"END OF TIRADE :-) (how'd I do, honey?)"

You know Z, I'll bet he's cheering, and saying, "that's my girl"!

Pris

Anonymous said...

Tom,
My main objections to your line of thinking are:

1. Moral Hazard. You spend your own money a lot more judiciously than you do other people's. I just got back from travel where them company paid for my meals, so I've seen that principle at work. Expect the same to happen with publicly funded goods.

2. Limited power. The significance of the American Revolution is that it placed limits on the government's power--not that it replaced one monarch with another. Slaves want freedom, not the right to vote on who their master will be for the next four years.

3. Sense of morality. If, out of Christian love for your fellow man, you see someone in need and help him, you should be commended. If you take someone else's money to help the man in need, have you really exhibited moral behavior?

tiob

Anonymous said...

Actually Tom, polls show 80% are happy with the healthcare they have now.

Their anger, as illustrated in those townhalls and tea parties is aimed at a government takeover of healthcare.

I can see nothing we say can persuade you. What all of this boils down to, for me, is losing more of our freedom. Sure people complain, but that does not mean they're willing to give over their freedom, and commit their children to forever be under the thumb of the government, and pay it to keep them there.

You say "be happy we don't live in Cuba". You think that can't happen here.

Well Tom, it can.

Pris

Z said...

TOM..you and I and the other smart people here know it's not going to be free; I honestly believe a LOT of Americans don't see that. Heck, our mainstream media has NEVER deigned to tell Americans that health care in Germany is not FREE, and never HAS BEEN :-)

Plus, do you REALLY believe that FINALLY our gov't will do something so well that we're not going to be taxed to pay this TRILLION bucks we'll now owe China forever? Do you really believe that medicare's almost dead but the OBAMA ADMIN will put in place safeguards and protocols that will take out SO MUCH fluff from the existing programs that the new health care program won't cost us "a dime"? (Um...VAT, anyone?)$$

Going back to 'free health care' that I BELIEVE Americans think is coming, when Americans I MEET, smart people, still believe that Germany's is free, you know America's not thinking. And that's what's happening now.

No, I believe they want the cheapest way and aren't considering that their healthcare is going to suffer. greatly.

Canadians are more upset than most sleeping Americans...where are Canadians going to go for catastrophic help? They're good to go on physical therapy, hang nails, and sewing up gashes, but don't get cancer or need an MRI in Canada...TRUST ME.

Tom, if abuses are 'widespread', they need to be fixed. Done. Let's spend a few billion enforcing that, NOT changing our whole system for the worst.

Pris, thanks for that.....I'll never forget when Mr. Z was so fatigued he had trouble going to the Tea Party he and I went to a few months ago at the Federal Bldg...once we finally walked the distance from the car to the building and he saw 3000 Americans, many of them YOUNG, and heard the tons of honking on Wilshire Blvd. IN AGREEMENT with the placards of Conservatives (Stunning that liberal West LA was so alive with cars honking support), he perked up and even had tears in his German eyes!
He deserves to be remembered as a huge American patriot and I'm going to do that here for him!

Z said...

tiob, you're so smart and I'm so glad you commented here.
Good job on that reminder about the Constitution..bravo!

I'm seeing capitalism slammed, a president say "for profit" as if that's a sin and I wonder where America is and how so many Americans can agree with that.

Also, you're so right about how diligent we are about our OWN money, but.....

I just do not understand why Republicans weren't brought to that big table Obama campaigned on.........and then are maligned for having 'no ideas' when they've had plenty....health savings accts., tax benefits, co-ops, etc.

We might have got somewhere if the Obama people weren't still in such Chicago-esque thug-campaign mode....have you seen that video of Orin Hatch begging Baucus to let the Republicans question him the next morning (this was at 11 pm on CSPAN, Washington DC time), saying they were tired, their aids were tired, etc...and Baucus refusing? "You can ask NOW..."

Sure, they could ask NOW, the media'd gone home for the night...only us night owl silly conservative patriots were watching horrified as the Leftwingers rode herd on us again. What is going ON?
And they can't post this damned bill for 72 HOURS? What are they AFRAID OF?

Just make it EVEN, let us IN...this is something like 16% of our economy we're talking about ruining here!

Anonymous said...

"He deserves to be remembered as a huge American patriot and I'm going to do that here for him!"

Yes Z, there are many native born Americans who could've learned from Mr. Z, what being an American is all about.

Love Pris

Jen said...

Now it looks like the states' right to opt out of the public option is coming under fire.

:-(

Naturally, because SO many states would opt out that it WOULDN"T WORK!!

Elmers Brother said...

the problem Jen is that they wouldn't opt out even if they could...especially if the tab is picked up by the federal government AND we'd still be paying for it whether we could opt out or not

Anonymous said...

Z,
I didn't see the Hatch-Baucus encounter you described. I find myself paying less close attention as it tends to put me in a bad mood when I hear more about these ideas. Anyway, your description about Democrats refusing to listen to Republicans and then blaming them for not having ideas reminds me of this clip:

http://www.popmodal.com/video/3678/

tiob

Anonymous said...

Here's a YouTube link (came in a recent email) to an excellent speech in Congress by Mike Rogers (R) Michigan discussing health care. It discusses the issue in a broader context of American ideals — not the altruistic appeals thrown out by the "progressive" socialists. I think Mr. Rogers gets it ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G44NCvNDLfc

Waylon

Freedomnow said...

Ahhhh... the old Americans are angry at the insurance companies routine.

And Americans are angry at grocery stores, tv networks, professional sports, music industry, potted plants, unsightly acne etc... And they always have been.

Should the government take over everything someone gets pissed at?