Conservative commentary: Let's work together

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— I was heartened to read John Salazar's commentary concerning health care in last week's Pilot & Today. If Mr. Salazar means what he says about the problems, we can solve them well short of the essential nationalization of the industry under the current House bill.

First, let's dispense with the rhetoric that "the system is broken." By all objective measures, the American health care system, in terms of treatment, is the envy of the world. The problem is that we have not figured out how to pay for it.

The economic truth is, if you are going to own a Mercedes, it is going to be expensive.

The proposed legislation will address this issue in two ways: 1) ration care, and 2) make someone else pay for it.

To illustrate rationing, there are four times as many MRI units in the U.S. per capita as there are in the government-run systems of Canada or Great Britain. And in Great Britain, you will not receive treatment for macular degeneration until you have gone blind in one eye.

On the payment front, the House bill would impose an additional payroll tax (over and above the existing 15 percent payroll tax) of 8 percent on employers who do not provide health insurance coverage - not exactly a prescription to bring down the current high rate of unemployment. Over and above this, there will be a payroll tax of 2.5 percent on individuals that do not have health insurance.

This is not the kind of hope or change that I am interested in.

But Mr. Salazar's main complaints concern pre-existing condition exclusions and the prospect of losing insurance when leaving a job. This, we can fix.

The insurance industry has been regulated for many decades at the state level, so regulation is not new. However, like many regulatory agencies, these have fallen too much under the influence of the regulated industry. Here is where we can help right the ship.

The essential elements are:

- Uniform pricing for products: IBM, my law firm and individuals pay the same price for the same product from the same company, and the same products are available to all. Insurers compete on price.

- Greater transparency: Be sure people understand what it is they are buying.

- Modify pre-existing condition exclusions: These can't really be eliminated or too many will not buy insurance until they are sick, but allow someone to buy coverage that is the same as what they have had during the prior six months.

- Uniform financial reporting for insurance companies, like the SEC requires for mutual funds: If there is some untoward conduct, we will see it.

- Eliminate government-mandated coverage: Let the consumer pick what they want. You surely have seen the Progressive commercial saying "name your price for car insurance, and we will design a policy to fit." Why not health insurance?

- Encourage Health Savings Accounts: Let the free market work.

- Tort Reform: Control costs.

Finally, let's tell the truth about the number of uninsured. Of the 45 million Salazar cites, few are chronically uninsured - the majority are just between jobs, 5 million to 12 million are illegal immigrants, 3.6 million to 9 million are on Medicaid, 3.5 million to 4.5 million already are eligible for government health programs but not enrolled, and 20.4 million have, or live, in families with incomes greater than twice the federal poverty level.

So, Mr. Salazar, we can address the issues you cite without the extreme and ill-advised legislation that you appear to support. If you are serious about your concerns, I will be the first in line to help fix the problem.

Call me. I am easy to find, and I will be sure to let the Pilot's readers know if I hear from you, and, I hope, report our progress.

Rick Akin is an attorney practicing in Steamboat Springs and Austin, Texas, and a director of The Steamboat Institute. He holds a doctorate from the University of Texas.

Comments

seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and I don't fall into your wealthy category either. Maybe visit YVMC and check out the sign that assures everyone of service whether they have money, insurance or are broke. That is the existing Federal policy.

Have a great day Mate.(Aussie accent added)

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

I had to stop reading when I got to the part that said "By all objective measures, the American health care system, in terms of treatment, is the envy of the world."

That statement is either the product of ignorance, or is a deliberate falsehood. Please educate yourselves: the citizens of most other industrialized countries not only have better care as measured objectively, but pay far less for it.

I had the opportunity to transport skiers to and from DIA last winter, and the health care topic came up regularly. I'll sum the conversations up as follows (assume the following is spoken with a strong Australian accent): "Why do you put up with this?"

If you suggested that they might be planning to move to America to take advantage of the "best health care in the world", they would either laugh in your face, or walk away from you real quick.

I don't mean to denigrate the individuals who work in health care: most are caring, well-intended people. But the pervasiveness of the profit motive in American Health care has distorted our system to the point where noone except the wealthy can count on receiving the top-quality care that we're capable of providing.

If we're going to debate this issue here in Steamboat,

let's at least be honest.

theKid

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea kid lets be honest. For those of us Americans who have had personal extensive contact with the healthcare system recently I can tell you that your comments are nutty. The life risking surgery that I have experienced and similarly witnessed other family members go through in decades past was truly top notch and I would not want to have been anywhere else in the World when receiving treatment. You come across as a young healthy Idealist and if you think someone with an Aussie accent saying what up with that dude is the telling factor here well you have convinced me. Why not tell us the details of the Aussie care system that we should emulate rather than bash an excellent product.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

So you had a good experience? Cool. I've had good experiences as well. That must mean that there's nothing that needs to work better, since...

"I got mine, and nothing else matters to me".

The point: our system is irreparably broken for many of our fellow citizens.

You want to find out about the Australian system: try "Google".

theKid

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

I am on your side trump and the Government would do better by looking at subsidizing pre-existing conditions and not running the show, that would take a frustrating problem as you are experiencing, and make it a disaster for everyone. As for the kid, you are late to the many discussions that have gone back and forth here on this issue. If you read trumps post you will see that it is not the delivery of services that is at issue but the insurance policies that make healthcare available to people. If the President would work with both sides of the aisle in Congress I believe the American people would benefit from and support a reform Bill that addresses the problems as described by posters like trump and JLM. Don't get me wrong though, I like Aussies, I eat at the Outback whenever I'm in Town.LOL!!!

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

healthcare delivery is NOT the problem. The problem is the profit motives of the healthcare insurance industry and the fact that they have been allowed to separate American citizens into ever smaller groups.

I challenge you to go out and find an individual healthcare policy if you have any one of the following conditions in your history: 1. Cancer. 2. Diabetes 3. Heart/Blood pressure issues.

The problem is this:

I had cancer when I was 25 (I am now 48 and have never had any recurrance of that cancer). The insurance companies all require me to answer that pre-existing question with a yes, no timeline or follow-up treatment questions. Once they have that pre-existing condition from 23 years ago, I am offered policies that either preclude any and all occurances of cancer forever, or they want to charge me something in the neighborhood of $2500 per month for an insurance plan with extremely high deductibles. ($5000 annually or more).

Yes, I had and survived cancer. In the next 1/2 of my life I have been treated exactly zero (0) times for that disease. Why is it possible for me to get quality insurance if I work for a large company but not if I run my own company? A comparable policy to a GM or IBM employee would run between $500 and $1000 per month with a $1000 deductible or reasonable co-pays.

The health insurance industry in the country is broken and we need to fix it this year. They should not be allowed to charge such wildly different prices for the same basic risks and coverage.

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Robert Huron 5 years, 4 months ago

The US has very good health care providing you work for a great company or are rich. We are the only western nation in the world that ties health care to employment. With health care costs rising at a rate of 9% per year companies especially small business will no longer be able to afford insurance for their employees in the near future. Large city hospitals are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year providing health care through their ER's for the uninsured which the tax payer has to pick up anyway. Since Pres. Truman reform has been tried but each time it is squashed by the big insurance companies who right now are spending 1.5 million a day on lobbyists to do it again with fear and misrepresentation. This country is at a crossroads(pay me now or pay me later) after decades of neglect when it comes to health care because more and more will either lose their insurance or will not be able to afford it in the near future.
Read the NY Times Sunday Editorial page for today. It breaks down the proposals being debated and how it will affect people of different age groups and costs involved. In order to make an informed decision about this subject people need information not talking points from 24 hour cable TV opinion networks or politicians on either side of the aisle.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 4 months ago

Tort reform will never apply to the private sector, we will see how O rewards his trial lawyers if the government takes over. As long as the Democrats are in power the lawyers will get their piece of the pie.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

How about we read the actual Bill that Obama has put forth? Isn't that why we vote every two years for Congressmen, to actually read the Bills and vote based on what is in the best interests of the constituency?

It would be difficult for me, and I am sure many Americans, to read anything that comes out of the NYT as I am sure there would be no bias there. I also don't know how we can take this Bill seriously when there is language in it that has been banned by most of the free World for decades. Referring to the mentally disabled as "mentally retarded" on page 389 of the Bill is a disturbing indicator of what this Bill is about. We are classified and numbered. The problems with healthcare costs is well known and being ignored for political reasons. Tort reform and health savings accounts along with changes to the pre-existing coverage issues would go a long way to dealing with the current problems. Healthcare is not broken, insurance coverage and the liabilty that Doctors face from lawsuits is the main problems.

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freerider 5 years, 4 months ago

our heath care system a is ranked dead last in the industrialized free nations of the world according to the WHO...insurance company's have paralized the AMA with there policy of deny the claim as standard operating procedure...it's a numbers game for them...a lot of people give up , they need to be spanked hard..

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 4 months ago

Based upon objective measures such as longevity and the overall health of it's citizens, we do not have the best health care system. We pay about twice as much as other countries with better health care systems. Statistically, we have too many people that get bad health care that drags down our overall wellness numbers and we spend far more in the last 6 months of a person's life.

The number of MRI machines is a perfect example of how the same fact can be used to draw the exact opposite conclusion. Someone in the US can get a MRI at almost a moment's notice so it can be viewed as an example of a great health care system. MRI machines are very expensive and other countries schedule nonemergency scans so MRI machines are highly utilized and thus scans cost about half as much to perform.

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howard_roark 5 years, 4 months ago

I got to tell ya. I am so excited about this new government insurance. And no denial for pre-existing conditions!!!

Prior to this news I had: quit smoking, started exercising 4 times per week and almost completely eliminated fast food from my diet.

But now... I can really go back to my old slothful ways. In fact, I will just stop paying for my health savings account. If anything ever happens I can just pick up some good ol' USA health insurance (because they can't deny me) and taxpayers can foot the bill. Sweet.

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ybul 5 years, 4 months ago

The profit motive is the problem? So how many non profits give away 100% of the revenues they receive? ZERO,, that is because they need to cover overhead (Labor costs, I suppose we should all work for nothing and everyone can have everything). How is a government that is less efficient than any company, has higher pension costs going to deliver a service any better than what we have today?

So when looking at cost comparisons of US health coverage to others, I read a post on here that stated that R&D costs are also counted in the US expense equation. If true then our health care system is not as costly as reported.

My families insurance $2,600/year plus what I put into a HSA, with a back surgery two years ago. Maybe looking at jettisoning the runny nose plans for plans which put the consumer in charge of looking for the best deal for their money would help out.

At what point do we realize that socialism is not the answer, it is simply legalized theft. I am all for helping out my fellow citizen. Though, maybe some of the hidden costs of our health care costs should be looked into before we scrap the current system.

Maybe the government should stop subsidizing grain production and distorting free market forces, which has caused our diets to be thrown out of whack and subsequently caused many health problems.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 4 months ago

you and i pay how much in insurance every month???? you and i pay how much to have a baby in a hospital every child??? you and i pay how much in co-pay's every month??? i'm pretty sure the problem has NOTHING to do with any of us who are legal, paying for health care with/without pre-existing conditions...just ask california!

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

"We are the only western nation in the world that ties health care to employment."

Not to put too fine a point on it, sport, but isn't just about everything in your life tied to your employment?

Little things like income, housing, food, vacations, cars, clothes, Rembrandt tooth polish --- hell, even the babes want to know your earning potential before they decide to spend time with you. Or maybe I'm wrong and money really doesn't matter as it relates to the quality of "your" life?

Why not? Don't you expect to only eat what you kill? Surely you don't want to be somebody's boy?

Remember what is being debated here is not "health care" or "health insurance" --- what is being debated here is "free" health care without the necessity of even being employed.

This is just an attempt by the government to get the productive members of society (the dudes with the good jobs) to pay for the health care of the dudes with no or bad jobs.

It is a classic socialist program justified by the wacky notion that health care (uhhh, free health care actually) is a "right" like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Well, I got some other things which should also be rights --- how about a right to a cheeseburger on all days which end in "...day"?

Remember over 85% of Americans already are covered, we are talking about a fairly small portion of American society which is not covered.

Move on, no crisis going on here, folks!

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

American medicine is the envy of the world and the world (particularly the richest people in the world) beats a path to iconic American medical institutions when their lives are on the line.

Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, Deborah Clinic, Brigham & Womens, Ronald Reagan UCLA Med Center, Duke University Hospital, Penn, Washington U, Scott & White, Pitt, Michigan U --- the list goes on forever. [Take a look at US News & World Report's 20 year plus rating of hospitals and tell me American medicine is not the best in the world.]

Where do the world's finest physicians get their training? The United States of America!

What is not mentioned is that these fine institutions are great hospitals (doctors, treatment protocols, experience), have extraordinary staffs and provide great lifesaving treatment but they are also teaching and research institutions.

American medical research (part of the national cost of health care mind you) is more than 3 x the effort of all of Europe combined and dwarfs the rest of the world by quantum orders of magnitude.

An interesting fact is who pays for this research?

The gov't pays 36% primarily through grants and the balance comes from private donations (which will be diminished under the Obama policy revisions) many times channelled through appropriate non-profits such as the American Cancer Society, the insurance companies (trying to increase rates of survival and lower the cost of treatment) and pharmaceutical companies.

If your life were on the line tom'w and you could pick any of the above mentioned hospitals to seek treatment or the best Canadian or British institution, which would you choose?

Be guided by what you actually know.

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ybul 5 years, 4 months ago

Out of network is a problem, and personally should be illegal. This as if you go out of network, with my policy, I get to meet a new $20,000 deductible that no service in network counts towards.

If you have a deductible, then that is your deductible, period end of story. The insurer should pay over and above that. I can understand only at the rate they would have paid in network. However, they should not be able to reduce competition. The insurer and the insurer should be working together, however, insurance companies get alligator arms when it comes time to pay and do not reach out very far.

That said, having seen how efficient our government is, I can not see how they could do any better for less money. Might help in covering the uninsured but, without treating the root cause of the problem, poor diet and toxins then we will only be applying a band-aid to a larger problem.

Peace

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Interesting, I just got done watching Dr. Gupta on CNN discussing the differences of what the Government plans cover against the private plans. Most private plans cover a colonoscopy the Gov doesn't. Lipid blood tests are covered every 12 months by private carriers and once every 5 years by the Gov. There were several other examples but the one that is most alarming was the procedure for determining who gets what. An Executive Commission that answers to the President will take 30 days for a review before they send their findings up the chain. No way, no how would I ever go for this sham.

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Troutguy 5 years, 4 months ago

Why is nobody talking about the 1200 lb. elephant in the room (literally) and mention that obesity rates have been skyrocketing the last couple of decades? Pre-existing conditions coming from eating a box of Little Debbies and chasing them down with a 6-pack of Mt. Dew are being subsidized by those of us who try to live a healthy lifestyle. Ybul touched on it in the last paragraph of his post. As a nation, our eating habits are crap.
JLM, I would love to use one of those fine institutions if my life was on the line, but I'd bet 50 bucks they would be out of network of my insurance carrier. Then what? That's the problem. We may have the finest medicine in the world, but unless insurance o.k.'s it, it really does us no good. It also seems to me that the 'dude with a good job' is already subsidizing 'the dude with no job' whenever 'dude with no job' shows up in the E.R. Correct?

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

In this entire debate perhaps the most important newly emerging concept is the necessity for "wellness" and personal responsibility as it relates to the necessity for receiving any medical treatment. I must say I am drawn to and convinced of the necessity for more wellness training as a preventative measure. It has changed my mind completely.

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

"Out of network" often simply means the reimbursement mechanism changes it does not preclude using that resource. An in the network physician can refer a patient to an out of network resource when the out of network resource is not represented within the network.

We often find ourselves getting only the medical treatment we demand rather than the medical treatment we deserve.

I had the great misfortune of contracting a disease which is seen primarily in children. Unfortunately I was 45 years old and it was potentially fatal.

I pressed my doctor to get the very best support possible. My doctor spoke with a doctor at the Mayo Clinic who conferenced in a doctor from John Hopkins and within a period of 90 seconds and with the wonders of technology my doctor had the two foremost experts in the world discussing my case.

Treatment --- bed rest, drink lots of water, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Go figure. At least my Mom would have thrown in some chicken soup. LOL

Never saw a bill.

I have no problem with indigent care and will gladly pay my fair share.

I have a problem with a 'dude with a bad job' sending me the bill for his first dollar of coverage, his having no skin in the game and the system providing Viagara like it was a life threatening ailment. That's "free" healthcare not health insurance reform.

Let's reform the system let's not remake the system.

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Troutguy 5 years, 4 months ago

Out of network nearly cost me my life. Let me tell you a little story wich pretty much sums up health care in our nation. Having been born with a heart defect, I made it 35 years of my life before condition worsened and put me in the E.R. several times over the course of two years. After several trips and consultations at the Heart Center of the Rockies, I was told I could take meds the rest of my life or opt for surgery. Being so young, I opted for surgery. I was told there was only one surgeon in CO that did the procedure that I needed. He practiced at both Denver Health and DU Med Center. After setting up a surgery appointment for 3 weeks later in March '06, I received a phone call from my insurance company the next day telling me they would not cover the surgery at Denver Health in network, only at DU. Same surgeon, But only in network at one hospital. Fine with me. The only problem was DU was in the process of a major revamp of their surgery clinic and wouldn't re-open until Nov '06 at the earliest, meaning I would have to wait at least 8 more months for surgery rather than a 3 week wait at Denver Health. When I told them I would probably be dead in 8 months, she said she was sorry but that if I wanted the surgery at DHealth, I would have to pay out of network. Gee, thanks! Luckily, after a week of trying to figure out how to afford out of network, the surgeons assistant knew someone who knew someone at my insurance co. and got them to approve surgery at DHealth. After only two days in ICU after surgery, I was discharged, barely strong enough to stand on my own. Insurance co.'s call. Had to wear a heart monitor for a month after surgery so they could monitor my heart. Got a bill for $800.00. Not covered by insurance. After heart surgery? Really??!! Next, I get two bills from hospital totalling over $90,000. Call hospital. They say insurance refuses to pay because it was not o.k.'d and it was out of network. Insurace co. refuses to budge. Bill gets sent to a collection agency. There goes my credit. Luckily I saved e-mail between surgeon's office and insurace co. o.k.ing out of network. After sending copies of said e-mail to many people at insurance co., those bills get paid in-network. Had many follow-ups at DHealth after surgery which insurance co. refused to cover in network, so I paid out of network for all of those.

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Troutguy 5 years, 4 months ago

All this talk about how the Gov't is gonna get between you and your doctor is a buch of B.S. There's already someone there. It's some pencil pusher that knows nothing about medicine or what you may or may not need for your health making these decisions. JLM, you hit the nail right on the head about the wellness and personal responsibility. This is where the debate about the overhaul of the entire system should start. Get out of the hospitals and off the meds. Eat well. Get outside and take a walk or ride a bike. Take responsibility for your own health. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

Troutguy, you got screwed and have a justifiable anger. Regardless of to whom one looks for insurance such mythical and farcical details are simply wrong. They will continue to be wrong whether an insurance company or the gov't administers the program. We cannot get rid of bureaucrats entirely.

I think the only real solution is to extend the season and raise the bag limit. But, hey, that's just me.

Again, we only get the healthcare we demand not what we deserve.

Have you ever researched the Deborah Clinic in Browns Mill, NJ and their employment and payment policies?

They apparently specialize in heart and lungs. Their doctors are salaried and are the finest surgeons in the land performing very complicated surgeries daily which another surgeon might perform once a year. They are the best. Many surgeons apparently apprentice there for several years to learn their craft and then return to private medicine.

They only take whatever the insurance company gives them and never require the patient to pay more. They have one and only one conversation about the bill and then that's it.

Very interesting and innovative perspective on medicine and one that works for them.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Troutguy, The issue you had was with insurance, not quality of care. Why overhaul the medical side because there needs to be some laws laid down on insurers? What about tort reform? If our leaders decide to work on things that will eliminate the kinds of problems you and others have described I am all for it, but I don't want a Presidential Commission deciding on my care and I don't like the fact that the Government care system will require people over age 60 to answer to a Community Organizer about how the remaining years of life should be dealt with as far as care. The more I hear about what is in this Bill the more angry I get. I recently had a Cardiac procedure and I could not be more happy with how my Insurer paid and the quality of the care I received. I am not willing to "change" something that is not broken as the hyped up tirades of some try to scare us into believing. Glad your well.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

It's been awhile since I've been called a liar to my monitor. Let's just say that I find it curious why some people call others liars, while most would not.

Why is that?

db

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

There is no doubt that health care and the insurance industry is fraught with sad and twisted anecdotes and there is no argument that folks have been hurt. Like any large industry this anecdotal information will accumulate and become part of the urban legend of the industry --- all founded on real facts and real pain BTW.

Turning the industry over to the guys who run the IRS is not the way to improve customer service.

We need the American ingenuity which has brought us e-bay, Amazon, Apple, Costco, Sam's Club and craigslist to be harnessed to provide a broad panoply of services delivered using efficient technology in a competitive purchasing environment.

We need to broaden the delivery mechanisms of the finest medical institutions in the world --- that would be America's great teaching and research hospitals --- to the lowest possible level.

If you can find it on the Internet (thanks, Al Gore), then you should be able to access it locally. Knowledge can be transferred easily --- at the speed of electrons!

All of this is possible by harnessing the innovation which provides such services as Amazon and Costco --- enterprises which were started from scratch and which have delivered real service to their customers in every corner of the country.

It is doable if we are smart enough to "improve" rather than "abandon" the system --- granted a system with many flaws and ripe with opportunities to improve --- which already provides 85% of Americans with health care insurance.

Profit motive is not the problem --- harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit which created Sam's Club may be the solution.

The IRS guys? Hmmm, not the solution!

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

It looks as though we've had some folks here who were treated pretty well by the "system". Here's an anecdote:

My Sister is a so-called DES Daughter, and she was diagnosed with two of the usual cancers that define that situation: cervical and ovarian. She was treated in Washington State, and was in the "so far, so good" group. She was, at the time, under a private insurance plan.

It came back, and the oncologist told her that she would need (another) major surgery, that he would basically scoop her out like a jack-o-lantern, and that the surgery was her best chance.

The insurance carrier authorized the operation, and she went into the hospital and had it.

She was in her room in recovery when she was informed that the insurance carrier wasn't returning the hospital's phone calls.

It seems that they simply disconnected their phone, and left town (with her premiums).

She's on the hook to the hospital for $ two or three hundred K, and has no way to pay it.

Here's my point.

Medical care in America can be the best in the world, but until we disconnect it from the profit motive, we, as citizens, will continue to get screwed.

db

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

What a crock of s#it. The carrier left town with her premiums?Yea right. Another one of these stories and I might have to leave town, oops, I didn't mean it. Check Vegas, I hear that's where the carriers go with the premiums. One question, 2 scoops or 1?

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

And Kid, which is it 2 or 3 hundred grand? Is the so called Hospital not sure yet? Good try though.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

kid, You are giving us one story after another, whether it is as you claim, Aussies who would run from our health care or a story about your sister. What gives away the story about your sister to me as questionable is the silly way you describe her being "scooped out". I have a sister who has lived with Lupus and in my wildest imagination I could never describe any of the many life threatening moments she has lived through in such a cold way. Therefore I believe your story as much as I believe Obamas about his dying mother after having had cancer surgery arguing with her insurance company on her death bed. These anecdotes by the Obama believers seem to be gaining in popularity lately. I am sure that people have trouble with their carriers but I am sure I don't want to turn over the whole shooting match to the likes of Obama, Frank, Pelosi and the rest of the nutty bunch. If I am out of line and your story is true I am sorry from the bottom of my heart, but I would say that you could express such a personal matter much more sensitively than you did. Hears to your health.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

"Scooped out" was her phrase, not mine. If you can't keep laughing, you might as well go home and eat your .357.

Her situation is a little out of the ordinary - most insurance carriers simply refuse to pay - but my point stands.

If there are people standing between you and your health care, especially if those people will make money in proportion to your difficulties, you will have to fight like hell to get adequate care.

We live in the most advanced, wealthiest country in the world, and we can't find a way to make sure that all US citizens have access to the medical care they need?

If so, then God help us.

theKid

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

"We live in the most advanced, wealthiest country in the world, and we can't find a way to make sure that all US citizens have access to the medical care they need?"

Unfortunately, that is not what is being debated just now.

Now President Obama is trying to sell the idea of "free" healthcare wherein the top 50% of Americans pay the medical bills for the bottom 50% of Americans.

President Obama is trying to sell a broad, nonsensical definition of healthcare that includes the first dollar of expense whether for treatment or comfort or cosmetics and the supplying of such non-essentials such as Viagra. He is making an erection a new American "right". Erections, at the very least, should be self financed!

President Obama is redefining the concept of insurance and broadening it to include routine maintenance and operations. You have automobile insurance but it doesn't pay for gas, oil, filters, tires, maintenance and repairs. You pay for these things and thereby you have "skin in the game". Auto "insurance" pays for catastrophic losses or costs.

Healthcare insurance should be like auto insurance --- we all should pay for our own routine maintenance and repairs (including erections) and the insurance should keep us from suffering a catastrophe. Isn't that what insurance really is?

Obamacare pretends to be "insurance" when in reality it is comprehensive in a "nanny state" kind of way and intends to pay for hangnails, aspirin and erections. You need some skin in the game yourself. We all do. It keeps us hungry and honest.

Lastly the funding mechanism simply serves to "soak the rich" and to manipulate the tax code in a manner which grossly exceeds "progressivity" and wanders a bit past "punitive".

So, no, the debate is really not about providing access to healthcare, now is it?

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

JLM, Is there any healthcare reform that you will support? Is there anything wrong with the current system in your mind?

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

Great question, Trumpie, let me explain what I think might work. First, let's "reform" rather than "re-make" the system. Remember there are a great number of perfectly satisfied folks. I have provided 20-600 employees annually w/ health insurance for over a quarter of a century. So, I know it can work.

Let's start by recognizing that insurance regulation is primarily a state responsibility, so let's get the "united" states and the insurance companies to create a standard health insurance contract. This is the key to creating competition, portability and affordability. This eliminates the confusion.

Let's agree that an individual is responsible for their own health (lifestyle, wellness, fitness, nutrition) and that they must pay at least 25% of the total cost. Everybody has skin in the game. Let's stop failing to acknowledge that lifestyle is a critical element of healtcare.

Next let's harness the power of the marketplace by forming massive buying cooperatives (kind of like the Sunkist citrus selling coop) to create enormous pricing power for consumers. Open the pricing of health insurance and health care itself to competitive bids based upon the size of the pool and the standard contract forms.

Make them real contracts with the consumers contacting to live better lifestyles and to take care of themselves. If you want to smoke cigarettes, drink whiskey to excess (unless you're Irish) and to eat cheeseburgers --- you gonna have to pay more, mon ami.

Let's get tort reform done and inject binding arbitration as the only dispute resolution technique (just like the securities industry mind you). No more huge awards to victims which really go into the pockets of trial lawyers. Pay the lawyers the "prevailing wage" and not a penny more.

Get the AMA's thumb off the medical school scales and create a larger supply of doctors in particular GPs. Complement this with a "super nurse" designation. Educate these folks at public expense and let them serve in local clinics in neighborhoods where folks live. Make housecalls.

Create an enormous pharmaceutical buying coop privately funded and administered to buy pharmaceuticals at enormous discounts. This is like the Costco or Sam's Club approach --- it's just organized purchasing administration.

Create a nationwide system of hospice facilities to reduce the cost of the last 24 months of life. This is the most expensive period of healthcare and one of the reasons our system is so expensive comparatively --- we will spend anything for another 6 months. I know I would.

I'll send the rest later cause I have to go swim.

So, yes, I am in favor of reform. Sensible entrepreneurial market driven cost effective pragmatic reform not social engineering, socialist, punitive, class warfare revisionist histrionics.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Entrepreneurial, market driven reform, eh? So our current worldwide financial adventure hasn't soured you even a little on the "magic of the marketplace"?

I agree that your "plan" has some useful aspects, but it does not address the basic question:

"Is it in our best interests to leave our medical care under the control of institutions that have, AS THEIR REASON FOR LIVING, the need to make a profit?"

How many Americans are you willing to sacrifice to Mammon so that American health care can remain ideologically pure?

theKid

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Look into the Fannie/Freddie debacles that created the requirement for Lenders to offer liar loans that the GSA's were guaranteeing with"OUR MONEY". The redlining laws made it impossible for Banks to follow reasonable underwriting rules. Yea the stuff you list was the house of cards but it was the housing markets (foreclosures) that went first. We all witnessed it in real time so please, no revisionism.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

"We live in the most advanced, wealthiest country in the world, and we can't find a way to make sure that all US citizens have access to the medical care they need?

If so, then God help us."

theKid

You may be on to something thekid. If we fix the system to cover "American Citizens" that would eliminate as many as 20 million illegals who are here and use our system. Huge savings. Also, a Hospital Administrator was interviewed and he broke down the costs. 70% of the patients they treated were insured under Medicaid or Medicare and 25% were privately insured. 5% were not insured. The Government dictates what they will pay for, which is below the actual costs, and the cost overruns are picked up by the private insurers along with the costs from the uninsured. So it is apparent that the private policyholders, like myself, are forced to pay for the under insured in the Governments care. How would that improve if the Government takes over the Medical field all together? But in reading your last post, thekid, it is obvious you are all about Socialism and the elimination of the free market Democracy we currently enjoy. It was not that free Market that created the housing bubble that blew up the economy, it was GSA's run by Congress that created an environment of rules that forced the free Market into treacherous business practices. It is also the Governments failure, through the SEC, that blew it in the Madoff scandal which caused untold numbers of people to lose billions. Some of whom have committed suicide in their inability to cope with the loss of their life savings. So why would we want to entrust our personal Medical care to the Bureaucrats?

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

I've gotta go rescue a client's computer, so this will be brief.

IMHO, unregulated, predatory capitalism has put us where we are now.

One hears all about how bad it is for the intrusive, nanny-state federal government to "stifle innovation" in the financial sector.

I submit that Credit Default Swaps, Collateralized Debt Obligations, and similar opaque garbage are one of, if not the major cause of the collapse. They are a result not of government meddling, but of government inaction, and of the regulatory mechanisms being subverted for the benefit of the very people who should have been regulated.

More later...

theKid

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NamVet 5 years, 4 months ago

The Kid is 100% right. Greed is an American trait, like it or not. During the 1980's we had the S & L deregulation which turned into the S & L disaster that the taxpayers had to bailout. Instead of learning from previous mistakes Senator Phil Graham of Texas was able to get a bill passed that deregulated the Investment Banks and created credit default swaps that were sold with a 30 to 1 leverage. Graham left office and went to work as a Vice-Chairman at an Investment Bank.(no connection there) Because of this and the forementioned Fannie and Freddie mess the whole financial system fell apart leaving us with the worst situation since the Great Depression. Pres. Bush and Sec. Pallson where then forced to bailout the banks to prevent a new Great Depression on his watch. Unfortunately millions of that bailout money has gone to over 4700 Wall St. executives who received over 1 million each in bonuses as a reward for the great job they did destroying the economy. It seems we have plenty of money for corporate welfare but when it comes to health care reform it is all socialism. We are to a certain extent a socialistic country. The National Parks, Interstate Highway system, Air Traffic Control, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, public schools, police and fire depts. and so on. If you use any of these services and programs you are taking advantage of a social program. Healthcare needs to be reformed not reinvented and some sort of social program will be part of it.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Just remember:

It's only Socialism if it benefits the less-well-off.

If it benefits the wealthy (as in the ~30 years since Reagan), it's not Socialism. It's God's plan.

theKid

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

kid ---

You are perfectly correct, everything that is wrong with healthcare is the result of unbridled capitalism and American entrepreneurial zeal.

Just curious about something in your post though.

You working for free to fix that client's computer?

Or, are you a "closet capitalist" getting paid for your work, time, expertise, experience and technical know how? You responding to a market driven demand for your services?

Of are you doing it for philanthropic and noble motivations? Or are you just a money grubbing geek? Holding your customers hostage to your expertise?

Cause, I think you, my friend, might be a capitalist and not really know it? Consider the possibility.

I have been thinking that with the universal growth of computer technology that perhaps the access to computer technology and access to the Internet should be a basic right and access to computers, software, the Internet should be guaranteed to every American and all the illegals to boot.

I think geeks like you should be regulated as to what you can charge and that the government should set the prices of your services.

Come on out of the closet, kid, capitalism is not the problem. Capitalism can provide the solution. You can have the IRS or you can have Costco but you can't have both. You decide, you capitalist geek!

Now, kid, you know I am just joshing you a bit and that I am not attacking you personally so don't get too ruffled. My computer geek was just fixing my latest problem a minute ago. I love computer geeks and I love capitalism.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, I have had the following conversation:

Client: "Whadda ya mean $200. You were only here for 15 minutes.

Me: True, but in that 15 minutes, I fixed your little problem. The one that you couldn't have fixed in a week. You got off cheap.

Seriously, I have never said that medicos shouldn't make money.

What I have said is that the parasites that make a 30% commission off each dollar spent on medical care in this country (in the insurance racket) should be run out of town on a rail - or some other punishment appropriate to our western culture.

theKid

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Pssst...

By the way, I don't do what I wrote above. I am, as you say, in the business to make a living.

There's that Karma thing, don't ya know.

theKid

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

OK, let's get real here.

First, the current economic woes are not even remotely close to the Great Depression. All the fear mongers --- of both parties, politicians, regulators, the regulated, the bailout-ers, the bailout-ees --- allowed the rhetoric of the Presidential campaign to blow this entire mess out of all proportion to what it really is.

The Great Depression saw a contraction n GNP of about 15% and unemployment of about 25% --- regional unemployment passed 50% in certain areas of the country. Not even close on either of those fronts.

This was all a "correction" --- a damn sudden and violent correction but just a correction nonetheless.

What is a correction? A 20% +/- move in asset values propped up by an overly frothy economy brought about by a sudden realization that current economic thinking and perceptions are overly optimistic. A correction is part of the investment cycle of free market capitalism.

Another part of free market capitalism is "constructive destruction" whereby excess capacity or outmoded technology is "marked to market" --- 8-tracks, buggy whips, hula hoops and GM.

The combination of a normal correction and a bit of constructive destruction forces folks to take a look at their entire economic situation. You stop buying Rembrandt tooth polish and go back to buying Crest. Normal. Healthy.

Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? The world at the brink of nucuear war? A nuclear exchange minutes away? The Great Powers poised with their fingers on the button?

Or do you remember the idiotic drills wherein you knelt under your desk to ward off nuclear shock waves and Gamma radiation? Those were some damn tough desks!

So, take a deep breath, the sun is still rising in the East and setting in the West and SBS is still a great place to live, work and visit.

This too shall pass.

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

OK, so, kid, we have established that you are, in fact, a parasitic closet capitalist, no? LOL

Insurance --- the pooling of risks, the assigning of projected costs to those risks based upon mathmatical analysis, the selling of protection and the administration of claims --- is a business just like any other business.

Insurance prevents individual financial catastrophes by pooling risk and diversifying the payment pool.

It does not make you live longer or prevent an illegal alien from crashing into your car. Health insurance is not going to make you healthy.

Property, casualty, automobile, life, dental, vision and health --- it's just insurance.

How come you can figure out your own automobile insurance and pay for it yourself but you can't do the same on your healthcare insurance?

How come you can pay for gas, oil, tires and maintenance on your vehicle but want your health insurance to pay for the first $$$ spent? Even if it is for Viagra?

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps the most basis difference between capitalism and socialism --- as both economic philosophies and as a method of governance --- is the mobility of its subjects.

In a capitalist society, one may become rich. Pretty basic fact.

In a socialist society, there is limited if not "no" upward mobility. Horrible limitation.

A governing philosophy which penalizes wealth creation through hard work or the creation of wealth through investment discipline or the creation of wealth through education strips its society bare of the upward mobility which provides the basis for fundamental optimism which propels a society to describe itself in hopeful terms.

There is no better example of that loss of spirit than looking at West and East Germany before and after the fall of communism. Same bloodlines and hugely different outcomes and woefully different societal attitudes.

The impact on our lives is so pervasive that we fail sometimes to even realize how basic the impact of capitalism is on the quality of our lives.

In our capitalist paradise, we have multiple grocery stores in our cities and we have an abundant supply of diverse and delicious foods while in socialist countries the food supply is limited and of inferior quality and seasonally constrained --- no strawberries in January.

We are so well served by capitalism we sometimes forget to be thankful for our system.

Next time you have a great meal, thank capitalism! OK, that's a bit over the top but you get the idea.

Capitalism is not the enemy of great medical treatment or healthcare insurance. It can be a huge driver to reform the system.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

I'll just say that I have NO faith in capitalism as an agent of reform. We have trained more than one generation of businessmen that it's only consideration should be next quarter's profit, and that all other considerations are to be put aside.

theKid

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, you are sitting presumably in a mountain village in your comfortable LL Bean jeans at your Pottery Barn desk noshing on some California pistachios sipping a cold cerveza using a Dell computer attached to the Internet via a high speed connection able to converse with others miles away while watching in real time the President of the US having a beer in the Rose Garden at the Blue Moon summit.

All the while watching Fox News and checking your text messages on your iPhone and loading new iTunes.

Paid for by your computer geek expertise repairing other people's computers.

Yeah, I would say capitalism hasn't had too much impact on you, kid.

LOL

"Capitalism, bringing information, technology, goods services and quality of life to all by harnessing the power of the marketplace and entrepreunial zeal whether they realize it of not!"

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

You got the part about the cerveza right: Del Norte.

You should, however, respond to what I wrote, instead of in support of whatever point you are trying to make.

theKid

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

Ahh, Del Norte, one of my personal favorites. The favorite of capitalists everywhere.

I can find no evidence that you are anything other than a committed and practicing capitalist --- and that is a good thang!

The idea that score keeping of any kind on a quarterly basis changes the normal process of capitalism is nonsense. American business scrutinizes gross revenue, expenses, gross profit, operating margins, cash flow and balance sheet in the most orderly manner of any capitalistic country.

Having run public companies, I can say with some considerable conviction that the focus on quarterly performance is as much a regulatory imperative as anything else.

The regulatory scheme requires the filing of quarterly 10Qs (reviewed by auditors now under SOx) and annual 10Ks (audited) and the timing provides an ideal temporal yardstick to measure progress but also to smoke out regulatory mishcief.

Was it Peter Drucker who said: "What we measure, we manage."?

The advent of Sarbanes Oxley and the creation of the PCAOB (public company accounting oversight board) has to have some temporal guide rails to which to attach their regulatory scheme.

While I personally think that the planning of business enterprises is most effective with an eye toward at least two business cycles (could be 24 months in most businesses which experience even a touch of seasonality) with a look toward a 5-year ultimate planning horizon, there is nothing wrong and there is much right in reviewing progress on a quarterly basis.

Isn't it interesting to see how quickly some of the troubled banks returned to profitability after the near "catastrophe" which loomed in Q2 Q3 2008? They were forced to clean up their balance sheets in one fell swoop rather than dribbling the right downs and reserves in over multiple quarters.

Profit is the yardstick that American business evaluates its progress and ultimate success and failure. Say what you want about GM --- once the largest US corporation and the largest car company in the world --- but it didn't get in trouble by missing a single quarter, it got in trouble over a 25 year period.

Capitalism? Maybe not perfect but simply better than all other alternatives!

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ybul 5 years, 4 months ago

--What I have said is that the parasites that make a 30% commission off each dollar spent on medical care in this country (in the insurance racket) should be run out of town on a rail - or some other punishment appropriate to our western culture.--

So an inefficient government taking 20-50% would be better? They need some to pay those paper pushers back in DC.

Maybe your anger should be directed towards the financial industry who has given us tax loopholes causing us to carry more debt on our homes and them to invest in the stock market, facilitating large salaries for ceo's, and an unfair capital advantage for those corporations. Throw in on top the governments guarantees of pension funds and you got a system that was ripe for the mess we are in.

Yep, there were those CEO's that were only after next quarters profit, however, those CEO's were playing with other people's money, lots of it because of pensions and 401ks which encouraged blind investment.

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NamVet 5 years, 4 months ago

Nine banks paid out $33 billion dollars last year in executive bonuses despite losing billions of dollars after receiving bailout money from Pres. Bush's socialistic TARP program. Is this true capitalism or just politcal payback?

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Lets refresh our memories here a bit.

"(CNN) -- Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN Wednesday that he was responsible for language added to the federal stimulus bill to make sure that already-existing contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money were honored.Dodd acknowledged his role in the change after a Treasury Department official told CNN the administration pushed for the language."

Uh, The Administration in charge was the "Obama" Administration. And more bonus's are in the works as we type. But the blame Bush crowd will continue to look back as most of the Country has started to see what is in the here and now.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

More TARP abuse.

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/2009/barney-frank-oneunited-bank-and-more-issues-with-tarp-fund-distribution

"The task of further restoring credit flow now falls to Mr. Obama's team, which has spoken in favor of pumping more money into banks, as has Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke."

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

I think TARP money has been directed and managed by those that run all three branches of Government. Who is that?

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NamVet 5 years, 4 months ago

You are right it is all Pres. Obama's fault for the financial crisis, 2 wars that that still kill our brave men and women each day and cost 10 billion a month (what ever happened to shared sacrifice) the housing crisis, the increase of the deficit from 5 trillion to over 11 trillion in 8 years and growing , the plunge of retirement savings, the health care mess, massive bailouts for Wall St. so they could reward stupidity, Bernie Maddoff & Stanford , high unemployment , obesity and everything else that ills this country. And it only took him 6 months to do it.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

You voted for Obama to bring home the troops, why is he expanding the war in Afghanistan? Certainly if we turn the other cheek the next time we are attacked and 3000 or more Americans are killed here we will be loved around the World and the peace pipes will be passed around. As far as deficits under Bush: 2005 - $318 Billion 2006 - $248 Billion 2007 - $161 Billion 2008 - $455 Billion 2009 - $569 Billion (cut off Jan 20th)

Notice that the Deficits declined until 2007. I do believe the Dems took control of the House and Senate in early 2007. But either way your number of 11 trillion is pie in the sky. I believe you may be confusing the national debt with the deficit. Obama started with a deficit estimated at 569 billion and is now at approximately 2 trillion. That is a multiplier of 4. Enjoy the day and thank you for your service to this great country.

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NamVet 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry but I already fought in one war and witnessed many of my comrades die how about you? You forget that Sadam did not attack us, Saudi Arabians did. You forgot to mention the gross-mismanagement of the Iraq war that cost 5000 American lives more than the 3000 of 9/11. How many of your family have done 5 tours in the Middle East. You also forgot to mention the surpluses pre-Bush and also the deficits 2001-2004. I really get a kick out brave people who sit in front of a computer all day.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

I believe Saddam did aid those that attacked us. He was THE state sponsor of terrorism around the world. He was paying the Shahibs families in the Palestinian territories as much as $25,000 per suicide to kill innocent people in Israel. Several Americans were killed in those bus and market bombings. So I choose, based on expert information, to see a correlation between the end of Saddam Hussein's reign of power and the end of terror bombings here and around the globe. But as far as your war experiences, I am not the President who has never served America or produced a valid Birth Certificate. I recommend you take a look at the books written by Clinton's ex Iraq adviser, Laurie Mylroie, from his 1992 campaign for President. What you think you know about Hussein and what is the truth does matter. Just because people are anti war doesn't mean they should whitewash the truth to serve that position.

Just in case you are tempted. http://lauriemylroie.com/

Please don't get me wrong, I do truly respect your service but please, using that to bash someone over the head for not having served is too easy and doesn't change the issues facing this Country today. I also know many Military, some active some retired, who have the opposite stance to yours.

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JLM 5 years, 4 months ago

It really doesn't make any difference how we got to where we are now nor does it accomplish anything to attempt to attribute the current economic situation to a particular President and his administration. In the end, it is the Congress which appropriates funds.

We will look back on the Bush era deficits with great fondness --- hell, I already do --- when we realize they were much less than $500B on average of a $14T economy --- 3.33% of GDP. That's the equivalent of a guy making $50,000 running up a $1,600 credit card balance. Manageable.

The Obama annual deficits are going to be $2-4T of a shrinking economy and will likely be in the 20-33% of GDP range. That's the equivalent of a guy making $50,000 running up a $10-16,500 credit card balance. Troublesome. Remember the economy --- GDP --- is shrinking while the deficits are ballooning! Real trouble.

One is manageable while the other is a bumpy ride to Bankruptcy Court.

Anybody who thinks the Obama spending program is not the root cause of the projected deficits is not being honest. You can argue whether President Bush or the Congress owns the past but you can't argue about the future. It is Obamanomics. It is his ideas and his plans that will run up the costs.

The Obama administration is having a tough time giving away money effectively! Giving money away! If you can't do "free" how are you going to run the economy? I am worried as to the basic effectiveness and competence of the Obama administration and whether our beer summit guy has the gravitas for the job.

Look, there is no real evidence that any of the Obama initiatives are working. If they were, don't you think we would be hearing about it? They are tanking!

There is some evidence that the free market is rebounding a bit so take heart. Things will improve.

All wars are stupid. We should resolve Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible consistent with our own national security imperatives and with a careful eye toward their long term cost. In the short term, this likely means a heightened level of violence.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Golly, JLM. Thanks for making it all so simple: those horrid Obammunists and their spending-like-a-drunken-sailor ways are bankrupting our country.

It's a good thing that the previous administration was so responsible about money, otherwise we might be in a world of hurt.

theKid

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

I forgot:

Thanks, seeuski, for explaining what a bad guy SH was. I mean don't pay any attention to those appeasers who can't find a link between SH and 9/11 - you just KNOW he was involved, right.

That word you used earlier? Truth? What exactly is that?

theKid

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

There is only one problem with your deficeit numbers see. The problem is that the Bush administration kept the costs of the Iraq war our of the Federal deficeit numbers. All expenses during that war were kept out of the budget and out of the deficeit. What this means is that those numbers under Bush were MUCH higher. Obama immediately brought those expenses back into the normal budget process which accounts for quite alot of the difference.

TARP was started and mis-managed by Bush officials. Obama has not done much better with those monies, but at least they are requiring better reporting and have eliminated executive bonuses for companies that have TARP money.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Ha Ha Ha. After all the bonus's are divvied up then the Dems decide to have a news conference about their supposed new controls enacted to limit what Corporations can pay their employees, and you guys buy it. I'm sure that gives great comfort to all of the Obamamaniacs out there.

kid, They can find a link, they know the links exist, and every Democrat Congress person is on record before the war lambasting Hussein for all of the great Humanitarian things he was up to but they just won't admit to it because it doesn't fit the bash Bush program. So kid, why don't you bash the never served in the Armed Forces POTUS Obama for his continuance of the Afghan war? We lost 3 great Americans today. For what? Potus exclaimed during the campaigns last year that he would hunt Bin Laden down in every cave. He ain't saying spit now is he? The big mouth. No, he just wants to control every single aspect of our lives. And yea, as you may be able to tell I don't like it. As much as you Obama fanatics claim otherwise, you won't like it either when and if he gets the total power he is seeking over all Americans in his spread the wealth (reparations) objectives. And I guess our Soldiers having to give enemy combatants that we capture in the field their Miranda rights is ok too?

trump said, "Obama has not done much better with those monies, but at least they are requiring better reporting and have eliminated executive bonuses for companies that have TARP money."

You really should look elsewhere for your news as the MSNBC Obama network is doing a job on you. Why then was IG Walpin fired when he delivered his report of corruption regarding 1 $million$ that Obamas pal Kevin Johnson put in his pocket? We now have zero honest safety nets in place to guard against the funny business going on. Does anyone care that the Treasury sent $500 Billion of our money to New Zealand? Only 10% of the $797 Billion has been spent in some form here in the US and Obama said on National TV that we are Broke. What is going on?

And trump, please produce the proof that the 2 Trillion dollar deficit we now have includes more than the 500 billion left by Bush. I haven't seen that one before. I guess Obama's admitted deficits are wrong.

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NamVet 5 years, 4 months ago

You all have to realize Mr. Seeuski is a very brave patriot sitting by his computer banging out hundreds of comments while our men and women in the Middle East are enduring 115 temperatures risking their lives for our country. He gets the "truth" for Limbaugh, Coulter, and the middle aged guys of "fair and balanced" FOX. He still tries to justify the invasion of Iraq with BS that Sadam was part of 9/11 when even Dick Cheney has admitted Sadam had nothing to do with 9/11. He proclaims Obama is not a citizen when the Republican Gov. of Hawaii has produced his birth certificate nunerous times. The bottom line is he and the FOX crowd still can't get over the fact that the American people have hired Obama to fix the mess the rich guy created. Personally I do not like either the Republican or Democratic party which is why I don't belong to either. Up to 1980 we had the tax and spend party in charge. That was replaced with the borrow and spend party with the exception of the late 90's when both parties came to their senses and actually worked together to stop the red ink. That was all flushed down the toitet in 2001 when the borrow and spenders came back with a vengence. Obama may be a total failure only time will tell but he did not create the problem. Get over it Obama is President like it or not. At least he got the majority of votes this time when the previous guy came up a half million short.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea, I'm brave alright, wasting time responding to the koolaid crowd. I guess Mr. Murdock is a fool also. http://www.husseinandterror.com/

Mr. vet, I did not vote for Bush in 2000 and I voted for Clinton twice. The difference between you and me is I don't give a dam what party is the one properly protecting the USA as long as they do it. Bush did. Goodnight.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 4 months ago

Seeuski- maybe we'll read your links...but will you? LOL!

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Apparently it's only truth if it comes out of the mouth of a fat drug addict.

db

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Moving right along, I took a look at Deroy Murdock's page, and then tried to figure out who he is.

You do have a sense of humor, Mr. Seeuski, posting that link.

db

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

Is your favorite show on yet, The Dolberman retort? And I never thought any of the actions Saddam Hussein was involved in regarding his terrorist activities around the World were a laughing matter.

Especially his contacts with Muhammad Atta: "As Czech U.N. Ambassador Hynek Kmonicek explained in a letter to Philadelphia attorney James Beasley, Jr.: "In this moment we can confirm, that during the next stay of Mr. Muhammad Atta in the Czech Republic, there was the contact with the official of the Iraqi intelligence, Mr. Al Ani, Ahmed Khalin Ibrahim Samir, who was on 22nd April 2001 expelled from the Czech Republic on the basis of activities which were not compatible with the diplomatic status." 21 Al-Ani was kicked out of Prague for casing the headquarters of Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Iraq, presumably because he wanted to blow them up."

Keithy Dolberman may be your guide but I will go with the Czech UN Ambassador's account of the Iraq connection to 9/11. Or Clintons own expert Laurie Mylroie before I get my understanding from the media, and that includes your pin cushion, Rush Limbaugh. That tactic of yours is a dead Saul Alinsky idea. Attack and destroy.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

So, allow me to ask a stoopid question: Why doesn't anybody in Government agree with you?

I think you missed your calling.

Carry on...

db

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

kid, I satisfied your stoopid question for myself several years ago and that is something everyone will have to decide for themselves to do one way or the other. You have the right to your opinions and the only reason I spend my time with them here is do my little bit of good. I doubt very much that anyone stuck with their ideological beliefs that Bush lied and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with, not just 9/11, but all the terrorism against the USA since the 1993 WTC bombing right up to 9/11 will be efected by anything I present. Hence the question from you: "So, allow me to ask a stoopid question: Why doesn't anybody in Government agree with you?" The answer is there are plenty in Government that do. The only way they are heard is when the media does their job, and we all know what their job was the last 8 years, don't we?

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

"Transcript ISGQ-2003-00003598 is dated January 4, 2001, so its just eight months before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Saddam was concerned that the U.S. might bomb Iraq. This transcript describes that the Iraqi leadership was concerned that Iraq's chemical and biological weapons sites may be bombed. The Iraqi Intelligence Service had learned that the American weapons manufacturers were developing bombs that were able to "penetrate deeply into the ground or concrete." The transcript says that if one of these sites was hit and not completely annihilated by the blast, then the chemical and biological weapons could "be detected from the air by some hazardous airborne substances." The transcript goes on to boast that "some targets are mobile, and Iraq has proven that it moved throughout the country very expansive equipment and data to evade United Nations' weapons inspection teams. Still, precision is essential and fundamental to the Americans if they want to strike vital targets while minimizing civilian losses simultaneously." (Appendix, Figure 66) Clearly Saddam still had both chemical and biological weapons as of the writing of this memo, January 4, 2001. The memo proves that Saddam used mobile units to produce biological and chemical weapons and to evade UN weapons inspectors."

Why would Hussein be concerned about us bombing his WMD sites pre-9/11 unless he new what was coming and we would rightly blame him. Especially since Bush was just elected and stated he was not going to be a Nation builder. The left claimed Bush was asleep at the wheel when 9/11 occurred and for the last 8 years since you all say he had an agenda. It can't be both ways.

""Louis Fairmont has unleashed the truth about the War on Terrorism in this dynamic new book. As an Anti-Terror/Force Protection specialist, I strongly recommend this book in order to understand why the United States was fully justified in the Iraq War. Saddam Hussein was a clear and present threat to the security of the United States and the free world." - Steven J. Lucks, Captain US Navy (retired)

The book is "The Link".

http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/saddams-links-to-al-qaeda/ An honest snap shot of the media bias.

http://books.google.com/books?id=KA3OKgKV5BgC&dq=the+connection&printsec=frontcover&source=bll&ots=K67HhxcPjj&sig=1ZOGHdxMo2kIO8zTpm5z1SqFMcc&hl=en&ei=QSx2SsXpD4GgsgPomtHcAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=11#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Stephen Hayes book on the connection.

http://jaynadavis.com/ The answers about the Oklahoma City bombing.

http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing3/witness_mylroie.htm Laurie Mylroies 9/11 Commission testimony.

Dinner time.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 4 months ago

It's amazing that you never get tired of posting those same tired links. Uhh, there were no WMD's and maybe you should contact Cheney in his WY bunker to tell him about your links there to Saddam & 9/11. I'm sure he'd appreciate them.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23228.html

So seeu, you're against the Afghan war now? Have you heard of the links between Afghanistan and 9/11? "Rolls eyes" Enjoy your dinner comrade seeu, can't wait to hear of the next Dem outrage from the fox/limbaugh mouthpieces that you regurgitate for us.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 4 months ago

Cheney's response...just 2 months ago. It disputes your Iraq-Al Qaeda thoughts.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/01/cheney.speech/

Even Cheney thinks you're wrong on that account.

Oh, and going further back, I guess Bush thought you were wrong, too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/sep/12/september11.usa2

I know you're bummed out, wanting to attack whomever you "think" did something while showing no proof. It seems to be a habit, this "offering no proof" thing.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

So your lefty link discounts all the different experts and their studies along with captured documents that we have now? Ok, well I don't miss your pal Hussein. and why have we been spared any further attacks since he is gone? Yes we are becoming comrades here in the new USSA of Obama. Can't wait for my free rationed health care, oh but wait, they are now going to raise taxes on everyone making over $50k a year to fund it. The "Change" you needed. Spread the wealth.

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seeuski 5 years, 4 months ago

You guys are great, you call the Bush team liars but want to use their description of the evidence of a connection as not enough to prove a link. Well, I have come to accept the explanations of the Bush Administrations position on proof, that you are using here, from investigators like Mylroie as reasonable. Read through some of the many links I have posted if you want that. I won't waste time again on it but for you to say that there is "no proof" Stoddard just shows your attachment to your ideological position on the subject of Iraq. I am going to leave this argument behind as there is possibly some much larger National news to pop soon. It may be in time to save the Republic.

Back to the topic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-bY92mcOdk&feature=player_embedded

Interesting that Obama is such a union man, Soviet times ten.

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theKid 5 years, 4 months ago

Curses! Foiled again.

You found us out.

The Obammunist conspiracy has been defeated thanks to you!

db

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