Carole Milligan: Reason prevailed over fear

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Thank you to Rep. John Salazar, Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. Mark Udall for voting for the recently passed health care reform legislation, which begins to address some of the issues of justice in our health care system. As a physician, I have long seen the inequities in the system, which have gotten worse and worse.

Some of these stem from for-profit insurance companies and the way that they view making a profit — they eliminate those who are expensive, such as the sick and those with pre-existing conditions, and they have limits on coverage both annually and lifetime, so those with expensive treatments fall out at the top.

Structurally, we have problems because insurance has been employment-based and has not been portable. If you move or change jobs, you must get different insurance. If you have a pre-existing condition, you are stuck. We have wildly increasing health care costs because of a whole variety of factors resulting in a rationing of health care to those without insurance who cannot afford to pay for the services they could get for a much lower price in other countries.

How is this bill going to help? There has been a lot of heat and a minimal amount of light on the subject.

This bill ensures consumer protections in the insurance market by eliminating lifetime limits, limiting the use of annual limits and preventing companies from dropping people for pre-existing conditions. All of us, regardless of the source of our insurance, will benefit from these changes in the long-term health of our community and in potential decreases in what private insurance holders will be paying as a “hidden premium” for unreimbursed care (currently about $1,100 a family). It means that health insurance will be portable, no longer depending so much on a particular job or location.

In Colorado, there are 826,000 uninsured residents and 345,000 who have individual policies who now will be eligible to get affordable coverage through a health insurance exchange, just like federal government employees already do. In addition, about 440,000 residents could quality for premium tax credits to purchase health coverage; 574,000 seniors would receive free preventive services and 100,000 would have the cost of their brand name drugs in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” halved; 68,000 small businesses could be helped by a small business tax credit to make premiums more affordable (currently 77 percent of Colorado’s business qualify as small businesses and only 38 percent of them offer health insurance).

Some of the less publicized and less glamorous provisions of the bill include support for long-term home and community-based services to allow seniors and the disabled to stay in their homes as long as possible. This will help the as many as 430,000 Coloradans who are disabled or will be turning 65 in the next 10 years. The bill also will invest in innovations in primary care and provide financial incentives to hospitals to better coordinate the care of Medicare patients discharged from the hospital to reduce readmissions. In Colorado alone, this could potentially prevent 23,000 Medicare re-admissions.

There are also provisions to simplify and standardize paperwork and computerize medical records to reduce the number of hours a physician incurs in their practice (140 hours of physician time and $68,000 a year in employee costs) dealing with the health insurance bureaucracy. To ensure that there are a sufficient number of primary care physicians to take care of patients and coordinate their care, there are financial incentives for the 6,000 primary care physicians in Colorado to reduce the discrepancy in the reimbursement for primary care and specialty practice. And, because there are 460,000 Coloradans who cannot access primary care providers because of shortages in their communities, health care reform will expand and improve programs to increase the number of health care providers, including doctors, nurses and dentists — especially in rural and other underserved areas.

Do I think that this is a perfect bill? No. But I think it is a very good start at moving this country toward a just system of health care. Clearly, the winners are all of us as individuals who want to get appropriate care when we need it, be able to keep our homes in the face of a health care crisis and want our children to be insured so they don’t face the kinds of problems we have faced with lack of access. Nobody is coming between you and your insurance company, and no one is coming between you and your doctor to make health care decisions. It is important to try everything we can do to streamline a system that only serves a portion of our population well and so many poorly. I have been frustrated by the long, slow workings of the Congress on this, but I think it is a great step forward. Thank you to everyone in whom reason prevailed over fear.

Carole L. Milligan, M.D., a retired radiation oncologist, is the medical director of the Hospice of Northwest Colorado and co-chairwoman of the Ethics Committee at Yampa Valley Medical Center. She has followed the issues within health care reform from the perspective of practice and ethics for many years.

Comments

seeuski 4 years, 8 months ago

So Carole are you saying that we were not receiving appropriate care at YVMC until now? Your political opinions have been argued over and over again during the last year and your dear leader Obama used his Executive powers and our tax dollars to bribe this Government takeover of our health system and the student loan program through. Don't forget Carole that many people reading your letter like myself have been served over the years by our hospital here and have had health insurance that DID NOT CANCEL coverage. I have done the math and the insurance company has kept their promise with regards to my coverage and have paid out more than what my premiums added up to. Sadly now though, because of those like yourself who cheer leaded for this entitlement, WE AMERICANS are going to be the ones who collectively bare the cost of this monstrosity through higher and higher taxes including a VAT tax. And what we can't be taxed for the Government will ration. I too have spoken with Doctors and, unlike yourself, they are actively practicing medicine today and have the complete opposite outlook than yourself to our health care future. They can't comprehend why Congress would vote for a bill that did not address TORT reform, HSA's, Precondition coverage and Interstate competition for insurance purchasing before turning the whole system over to an entity that has a track record of failure, the Government. And you mention "reason over fear", well great point, I for one definitely fear the addition of some 16,500 new IRS Agents who will be on our tails in the collection of the new taxes that WE will all be paying in the future. No, I would rather be in the current system but with the lawful changes I listed above that the Republicans tried to address over the years while the Democrats kept pushing for the political answer, a huge new Government entitlement, that will ensure their voting victories into the future. We shall see in November Carole. Social justice/Marxism one in the same.

Obama should hire you to do his pitch work. "Obama's 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman's claim of being 'over-taxed" http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/04/obamas-17-minute-2500-word-res.html

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 8 months ago

BTW, is it just me or is this eternal snow storm the start of Armageddon as predicted by the opponents of health care?

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aichempty 4 years, 8 months ago

The federal employees who get health insurance through an "exchange" do so at an expense around $14,000+ per year for family coverage. The employee pays around 1/3 of the cost with the employer (the federal government) paying the balance as a benefit.

So, who is going to make up the difference?

How many uninsured families around here are going to fork over $14,000+ a year for coverage?

The health care reforms which govern some insurance company conduct are a good thing. They've been getting away with murder, literally, for a long time.

However, when you allow someone to "sign up for insurance in the ambulance" you are doing nothing but reallocating income to spread the cost around to those people who have been paying premiums for years and never using up their personal credit for contributions.

The only equitable answer to this problem is to collect premiums for individuals through payroll withholding, just like Social Security payments, and allow them to credit those contributions against the cost of buying health insurance if they care to do so. It's fine for everyone to get coverage, just so long as everyone pays.

I paid premiums for twenty years without ever having an illness worse than a dog bite. It was the responsible thing to do. If you want me to pay for people who sign up in the ambulance, I either want a credit for staying well, or to see everybody paying into the system every month.

And by the way, a person making $50,000 for the U S Government pays exactly the same premiums every month as a person making $100,000. The person making $50k pays the same amount out of their own pocket in real dollars, but the government pays a much larger percentage of their salary as a benefit to make up the balance. So, if you want to follow this model, then working families around here should also be paying the full cost. We all know that's a fantasy.

This is nothing in the long run but a socialistic redistribution of income, designed to aid the irresponsible as much as the worthy, to buy votes. I am not against health care for every American, and I am for cost reduction, but I don't see either one of those dreams coming true. Before it's over, look for more taxes on the poor to make up for it. The middle class is tapped out. It's becoming easier to give up and be "poor."

And Sookie, give me one of those IRS agents for two days, and I'll take them around the county and show them where to collect at least a million dollars in unpaid taxes right away. People who pay their lawfully assesed taxes have nothing to fear from the IRS.

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seeuski 4 years, 8 months ago

We don't oppose health care Scott we oppose Fascism.

"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it." http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html

Don't panic, Obamacare is set up in such a way that the true nature of what it does won't be known until 2014 or so. So no, Armageddon as you mention, is going to be spread out over time. Sooner or later Scott, we shall see together how the Congress along with the IRS can find ways to dig ever deeper into our collective pockets. While we have different opinions now and express them here on this forum, we are all in the same boat like it or not. I don't believe that those with opposing views to mine are Fascists or otherwise, just wrong and in some ways blind to what is ahead with this continuing hunger of the Obama Administration to control the majority of the US commerce. By allowing our Government to consolidate such power is where the people begin to leave the tenets of which this great Country were founded and fought for. How will the the people win back their freedom from the Government if your desired experiment here fails?

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 8 months ago

Carole, Obvama pulled every shenanigan in the book here to try to save his presidency. What did the trial lawyers and union/government employees give up? He cut a deal to supply goodies to every special interest group, friend or foe, to ram this through, with the intention of eventually winding up with single payer. The problem could have been solved much easier but we might not have gotten socialism/government control. We have had to endure this year long "Florida Recount" and now must we endure anothet year to justify this fiasco? I realize that there is a child out there somewhere that is being treated unjustly, and that opponents of this measure are violent racists but I am not biting on this reliable trump card.

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babette dickson 4 years, 8 months ago

Seeuski, you are a disgrace. Could you post your comments with respect -particularly for Carole who is a very graceful, intelligent caring woman. I am convince now you will never reach Carole's level of intelligence and altruism. You "suckuski" should be your login name from now on.

Carole, thank you so much for your letter. This issue is dear to me because I have a son with autism and we have never been able to receive the care he truly needs because of the unfair health system. The current bill is great compromise between the "American" system based on the "have" and the "have not", and the European system based on "every one is on board without full accountability". Now, I have great hope the American will grow from being "big kids" (their nicknames across the globe), to responsible adults who care about the well being of their neighbors, their children, particularly the most vulnerable, and the future of their country adding new values besides Profits. Thanks Carole, thanks President Obama and thanks to all our representatives in D.C who supported the bill.

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charliecigar 4 years, 8 months ago

The King just made the biggest power grab in the history of our country, and yet he receives applause. This administration doesnt give a damn about the people. If Obama cared so much he would have condemned the Department of Healths press release telling women to wait until age 50 to begin regular breast exams, instead of the Cancer Societies recommendation of age 40. The reason for instilling this dreadful information into todays youth? Billions of dollars in savings for testing costs, and a lower mortality rate for women in the future. Nice guy..

Eternal snow is just a precursor for Global Warming Code Blue. Time is of the essence. Cap and Trade is crucial to our survival now!!! Yeah right. Stuff another cheeseburger down your fat pie hole Al Gore as you burn thousands of gallons of fuel a year in your private jet while spreading your lies. And thanks King Obama for sending a second 727 for Oprah and the wife to catch up with you in Copenhagen in an effort to pursue your own personal agenda. I bet that didnt cost the people much. The eyes work best when they are open..

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seeuski 4 years, 8 months ago

I think people should know that Dr. Milligan was a heavy contributor to the Obama for President campaign and therefore has great bias when writing about this health care issue, with all due respect babette. Well over $2,000 dollars, it is public record. As far as the Insurance Companies profit margin that the Dr. refers to, the average is 2 to 3 percent. The fraud and waste associated with the Medicare system is 30%. I think we could have done better than this bill babette and then your Son would have been better served into the future of his life which I hope is a healthy one. One thing that makes the private sector more competent than the public sector is profit and competition, Government and Union workers have neither, they are a part of the problem and neither can be fired for poor performance. Now we will have the whole health system under the umbrella.

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Viper 4 years, 8 months ago

Who in their right mind would believe that allowing the Federal Government to control healthcare and another 1/6 of the economy would make anything less expensive or better?

159 new government agencies, 16,000 new IRS agents, thousands of new regulations and an all-powerful politically appointed Director of Health & Human Services – Sounds like Tyranny to me. It’s like:

Hello, I’m from the IRS, I’m here to Help.

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NamVet 4 years, 8 months ago

Seeuski besides Fascism, Marxism and Socialism you like to harp on why not include the Idiotism of George W. Bush who pretty much caused the mess this country is in. According to you all our fiscal problems started last year when they actually started with the appointment of Bush who became the most fiscally irresponsible President in American history. Sorry if the truth hurts but you can't rewrite history. This country may never fully recover from the Bush Presidency no matter who was elected to clean up the mess. .

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housepoor 4 years, 8 months ago

Well Done Carol. Thank You. Nice to hear from someone who has spent their life in the healthcare industry.

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

I would be a bit more receptive and sympathetic if the AMA would take its thumb off the scale as it pertains to the supply of doctors in the US.

We are going to add 42MM folks to the health insurance and medical markets and NOT ONE NEW DOCTOR!

And you think YOUR medical care is not going to be impacted.

Let's focus on three simple facts:

  1. The entire program is going to be funded in large part by eliminating $0.5T of "waste and fraud". <<< why has this not been done thus far?

  2. The system is going to be run by the gov't <<< what are your most and least favorite gov't programs?

  3. The system is going to be administered by the IRS. <<< ever dealt w/ the IRS? LOL

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kathy foos 4 years, 8 months ago

Felix,you are small minded to insult seesuki for an opinion in an opinion column,its the message that is offensive to you and seesuki can say or believe anything he wants without being attacked personally in a stupid way,Im glad you are happy that it passed,but good luck being mad at anyone that disagrees,as it is not in the constitution to force people to pay to have this .,Maybe you should move to a state that isn't contesting it,It wont last long is my betWhat it is doing is dividing it into a cival war on healthcare.Obama promised alot of things,but healthcare is the only thing he cares about really,and his nobel peace prize image,healthcare,healthcare healthcare obama the broken record,What will break healthcare is the next election,when this all gets undone,I think people voted in a black president and expected more than his obscenely persistent effort at cramming this bill down everyones throats and the ones who didnt represent their people in the vote are going out right along with Obama in the next election.Democrats wont win next time because of this.

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seeuski 4 years, 8 months ago

When all else fails blame Bush. 1.Obama has quadrupled the deficit in his FIRST year, rewrite that!!! 2.He promised he would "use his scalpel" and go line by line, rewrite that!!! 3.He promised that "with the stimulus package the unemployment rate would not go above 8%", it's at 9.7% for benefit recipients and near 20% for the rest of us, rewrite that!!! 4. He promised that "every new bill would be online for 5 days before a vote is taken" rewrite that!!! 5. He promised transparency and all bill negotiations would be on C-SPAN, rewrite that!!!! 6. "We will put every pork barrel project online" rewrite that!!! 7. Obama promised to "eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses." rewrite that!!! 8. Obama promised to provide a $3,000 refundable tax credit to existing businesses for every additional full-time U.S. employee hired in 2009 and 2010. Obama's promise was never included in the stimulus package.Rewrite that!!! 9. "Since so many Americans will be struggling to pay the bills over the next year, I propose that we allow every family to withdraw up to 15% from their IRA or 401(k) – up to a maximum of $10,000 – without any fine or penalty throughout 2009," Obama said. "This will help families get through this crisis without being forced to make painful choices like selling their homes or not sending their kids to college." Obama's promise was never included in his recent stimulus package. Rewrite that!!! 10.Obama also said, "I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race. I don't take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House."It wasn't long before he allowed at least two dozen exceptions and broke his promise.Rewrite that!!! 11.During the campaign, Obama criticized President Bush for issuing "signing statements," "That's not part of [the president's] power," Obama told an audience in a recorded video during the campaign, further alleging it was a violation of the Constitution for the president to attach signing statements to signed bills. Obama even issued a memorandum negating Bush's signing statements by telling agencies not to follow on them without consulting with the Justice Department in advance. Two days later, Obama attached his first signing statement to a $410 billion government spending bill, even as he signed it into law. Obama's signing statement modified, interpreted and even dismissed dozens of statutes of the bill, including a section limiting his ability to put U.S. troops under United Nations command. You know the rest!!!

So namvet, Bush is gone and the POTUS in charge now is going to be scrutinized, as he should, by those of us out here who give a hoot. The only reason you parrot the game plan of attacking and blaming Bush is because Obama is doing what what we are charging him with, and it is unpleasant to defend his "Fascism, Marxism and Socialism" agenda. It is just un-American.

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 8 months ago

seeuski-

Couldn't have laid that out any better myself. Bravo sir, bravo.

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zozobee 4 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Milligan, Thank you for your comments. I agree that change is long overdue. I honestly hope that we are now going down the road to a just and humane system of care that will no longer be based on a business model. It is ludicrous to imagine that a for profit insurance system could ever have the best interest of the patient in mind.

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ybul 4 years, 8 months ago

NamVet,

Bush II was not the best president, however, he did not create all of the mess we have, it has been brewing for a long time. It really comes down to the bankers and the move away from sound money to money that is debt based, started in 1913 and then the deal was sealed when tricky dicky abolished the gold standard.

Add another falsehood to Obama's list...

He stated that if you liked your insurance plan great you can keep it. Well in reading the bill, if you are over 30 years of age it will be near impossible to have a catastrophic health plan, or HSA type plan. So it sounds as though I will not be able to keep my coverage without paying some sort of penalty, which could be 4 times what my current insurance plan costs.

This bill did nothing to actually bring down the cost of care.

This administration is no different from the last, the sooner WE ALL realize it and quit putting up with them shredding the constitution the more hope for this country there will be.

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

It's all Bush's fault? I thought that Obama was the President?

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trump_suit 4 years, 8 months ago

You need to at least get all of your accusation correct see. Have you even bothered to look up the definitions of marxism, fascism, or socialism? Perhaps if our country disappoints you so much you should move to Costa Rica with Mr.Limbaugh. Or perhaps you have decided that maybe just maybe our little country remains the greatest in the world and now we have access to healthcare.

Aich, I would absouletely love it if I was ALLOWED to purchase the health insurance provided by the Fed at full cost. that $14K premium would be small potatoes compared to some of the plans I have been offered as a cancer survivor. That is when the plan is offered at all.

Any of you hard core opponents to this bill check out the survey here in the Pilot? At last check it was running 53% in favor, 38% opposed. Not quite the numbers that you would like to see in your community I am sure.

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NamVet 4 years, 8 months ago

ybul I totally agree and have said many times that we need to throw out all of Congress both Democrats and Republicans. What I resent is our Limbaugh representative blaming the present administration which I'm no fan of either for every ill this country has. They want to forget that it was Bush who refused to extend the Deficit Reduction Act in 2002 so he could go on a 6 trillion spending spree which continues today. However our problems started long ago. In 1980 the National Debt was 900 billion and now it is over 12 trillion with no end in sight. The so called Conservatives were in charge 20 out of the last 29 years and they did even worse than the dreaded Socialists when it comes to deficit spending. The only glimmer of hope was the Clinton-Gingrich Deficit Reduction Act of 1994 which Bush did away with. Yes Obama is the present President and he has to deal with the situation left him but even if McCain had been elected we'd still be in this mess. I do not like this Health Care Bill because it does not address costs and is in reality is Romneycare which is a gift to the Insurance Companies just like Medicare Part D. I do like the provisions about pre-existing conditions and not allowing insurance companies to deny claims that premiums where already paid for. If you have had cancer you are screwed in this country when it comes to getting health insurance. I have never understood why health care needs to be tied to employment. Why should employers be burdened with supplying health care for their employees in the first place. This is why many large and small employers hire Mexican workers(legal and illegal) for peanuts with no benefits instead of Americans which exploded in the 1980's.. We are the only country in the free world that ties health care to employment which needs to change.

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seeuski 4 years, 8 months ago

trump, I quoted namvet with the triad but I do think Obama is defining his agenda with his actions. I have also posted the definitions you are asking for previously. And please show me where my last post has errors and I will fall on my sword for you. As far as Costa Rica, Mr. Limbaugh was referring to where he would have to go to receive the health care in the future that we are trashing with this Obamacare bill today. And as far as this Country being great, you are correct and that is why so many are fearful of what is being done and who this Administration has in important places. The laws that are being changed on a daily basis which is not reported by the Lame Stream Media are "fundamentally changing" America. And trump, you have no better access to health care today then you had last year. Please let us know when you are given the free health care you so desire. I do believe there is more to your $3000 a month story than you are telling as I have immediate family members who have survived multiple bouts with cancer and have reasonable coverage. Again, I know that the issues that you care about in this argument could have been fixed in ways other than the Government takeover and the need for 16,500 new IRS agents. But we have already worn out that argument. Go in good health.

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the_Lizard 4 years, 8 months ago

Carol e MD says there are 826,000 uninsured Coloradoans. Not quite Carole. Many in that number are uninsured for only part of the year, many are illegals, many are already elgible for Medcaid, or schip many could buy insurance but choose not to, many are elgilble for employer insurance , but decline the coverage, Those are the FACTS, but 8% or fewer uninsured people in Colorado does not make the best "social justice" argument and doesn't quite reach the level of the need for "mal-redistribution " of income, now does it?

"Nobody is coming between you and your insurance company, " Ummm, yes they are, I have a high deductible HSA, this bill interfers with it.

" It is important to try everything we can do to streamline " We are talking about the federal government here, streamlined, OMG how funny is that! Thank you John Suthers, Colorado AG!

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the_Lizard 4 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps she is caring and so on, but her figures are not complete, according to a study done by The Lewin Group. That's where I got my data, I don't know where she got hers.

She may be well informed on the persuasive, FEAR mongering, liberal talking points about this subject but, the fact remains that out of the 17 or 18 percent of uninsured Coloradoans, more than half of those are uninsured for the reasons I gave.

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trump_suit 4 years, 8 months ago

You know it truly is entertaining how the Republicans have chosen to fight the insurance mandate as unconsititutional when it was their idea in the first place and was originally denied by the Democrats.

Part of the problem for the insurance industry is that the 20 something group seems to think they are completely healthy and bullet proof to any of the catastrophic illnesses that can affect us. The insurance companies need to operate like the Social Security or unemployment funds. That is contributions when you are young and healthy to pay for the expenses that will be encountered later in life. When individuals refuse to purchase coverage until they know they need is there it raises the risk assesment and hence the rate for all of us.

More of the problem is that insurance companies have been allowed to break us into ever smaller groups so that they can overcharge and exclude small risk groups and individuals. The risk group needs to be spread accross their entire customer group and rates will stabilize. That is the reason that so many of you are happy with the old system. As long as you work for a medium to large employer you are largely isolated from the abuses and problems that this bill reforms.

The socialism aspects of taxing the rich to pay for the poor is a concern but how would you pay for them? If we continue to allow the uninsured to use the emergency room as their primary physician it is actually more expensive than the current bill. Again, what is your solution to pay those costs. Torte reform and the ability to purchase insurance across state lines do NOTHING to address either of these issues.

See, the $3000 a month only come up when you are self employed, unemployed or work for a small company of 10 or less. Why should my insurance be more or less expensive depending on who I work for? The risk is the same..... I would assume that you work for a medium to large employer and have excellent benefits. Go try to claim a pre-existing condition and try to purchase insurance on the individual market and you may come to a completely different conclusion.

A friend of mine recently had knee replacement surgery. Her husbands small insurance plan thru his job with roughly 12 participants received notification that unless they dropped coverage on his wife (the knee replacement) their premiums would increase by 40% per year for the next 4 years. By dropping that one person the company was able to cut costs and continue to offer the plan at reasonable costs. Is it appropriate for the insurance company to single out that individual and raise costs for the entire small business? My personal opinion is no and this bill addresses each of these primary topics.

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

If Mother Theresa went into the health insurance business she would be faced with the same pricing issues that any insurance company confronts today.

Insurance is, after all, simply a grouping of similar and related risks and and a definitive pricing of the high mathmatical probability that only a small subset of the group will fall prey to some malady at the same time.

It is simply the financial diversification of a set of known risks. In this case, it is health risks.

While Mother Theresa was a very, very compassionate woman, her actuaries, mathematicians and bean counters would come to her and say the same thing --- we have to know the exact nature of the risk we are facing in order to be able to put a fair price on it.

Insurance at the end of the day is a "conduit" business.

Insurance companies do not provide health care, they aggregate the costs of healthcare and spread it amongst the group and thereby blunt the risk of any single individual having to pay the entire amount even if he is the one who has gotten sick.

What is wrong w/ Obamacare is that it attempts to "bash to fit" rather than rationalizing the cost and reducing the actual healthcare cost all while screaming that the insurance companies are evil.

It is nonsense even while admitting that some insurance companies have done some very heartless and callous things in the course of their business.

If you had a hole in your roof yesterday and you bought property insurance today would you expect your property insurance to pay the cost to repair your roof?

The real dilemma is pricing and the cost of healthcare not the insurance aspect. You cannot increase healthcare coverage to over 40MM folks and expect your rates to go DOWN.

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the_Lizard 4 years, 8 months ago

Debunk Lewin's statistics George, and then tell me about big pharma's deal with the Obama. Odd that Lewin group would be trusted to consult for state and federal government. That's where this info came from, dude.. Look it up . .

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NamVet 4 years, 8 months ago

JLM you forget that we are already all paying for the uninsured when they use the emergency room as their primary care facility. Emergency rooms charge 3 times what your normal primary care physician charges. I have had this conversation with my doctor here in town and he believes this is a good first step in taking care of our citizens and bringing down costs in the long run. Considering that he has been practicing here since the 70's and is a professional in the field who has to deal with this everyday I would trust his opinion over some radio or TV hosts opinion.

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

Nam Vet ---

Typical uninformed one dimensional view of the problem. The emergency room has to stay open, staffed and operating whether it receives patients or not. Right?

Emergency rooms are staffed by experienced "trauma" professionals not family practicioners.

Whereas if the folks (formerly uninsured) who otherwise were to go see "their" new physician, that would be an incremental load on the medical distribution system because they are now going to be in your doctor's waiting room rather than at the emergency room. This is clearly an incremental load factor which will disrupt delivery of care to you.

There is no way that you can say that 42MM folks are not going to have an impact on the system.

Who pays for their new health insurance by the way?

Before If you never went to the hospital, you escaped the impact of the emergency room problem but now under Obamacare, you will be taxed at the health insurance level.

Do you really think the emergency rooms are going to lower their charges?

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

Doctors are notoriously bad business persons. Proven yet again. All 16 doctors in the Congress were against Obamacare. But, hey, what do they know anyway? LOL

Trust me, I'm a doctor! <<< joke as I not a doctor actually

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NamVet 4 years, 8 months ago

You must have never been to an emergency room of a major city. They are packed with uninsured and ILLEGALS. I watched as my Father was dying before they could get around to him 6+ hours after we arrived. Then it was too late.. He had insurance. Yes they are staffed with employees who are being paid to be there but all their treatment is billed to you and I and every other taxpayer. As the old saying goes "Pay me now or pay me later."

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the_Lizard 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes George, I can see you would have no time to spend 2.5 seconds finding the report done by the Lewin group concerning health insurance numbers here in Colorado.

Oh but wait, it doesn't matter, you don't care about their statistics, you think illegals should have access to our health insurance programs because they're real people too, So even though the Obama said illegals wouldn't be covered by health insurance, the esteemed Doctor left them in her 800,000 to inflate the direness of the problem. People that qualify for medicaire and the schip program are left in that number, further inflating it, although they could be covered. Some people choose not to be covered, which I agree is stupid, but in a free country people can choose their own path brain dead or not. They are in the 800,000 number, and so on. The point is, the esteemed doctor claims 800,000 don't have health insurance to frighten people into believing something (anything) needs to be done, That's why we have benn given this HCR billl which is being challenged in 18 states now, doesn't lower costs, raises costs of many corporations, is misunderstood by many people.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/06/91696/health-care-overhaul-spawns-mass.html

and worst of all puts our country further olong the path toward economic collapse.We are being warned by Moodys that we may lose our triple A rating

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/business/global/16rating.html

But at least we know that illegals are people too.......

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jimmmmmm 4 years, 8 months ago

Come on Seeuski, Why is it your the one that's always passing off the lies? Who told you that crap? Beck? Hannity? Rove? Palin?

From FactCheck.org:

Q: Will the IRS hire 16,500 new agents to enforce the health care law?

A: No. The law requires the IRS mostly to hand out tax credits, not collect penalties. The claim of 16,500 new agents stems from a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions, and compounded by outright misrepresentation.

... This wildly inaccurate claim started as an inflated, partisan assertion that 16,500 new IRS employees might be required to administer the new law. That devolved quickly into a claim, made by some Republican lawmakers, that 16,500 IRS "agents" would be required. Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas even claimed in a televised interview that all 16,500 would be carrying guns. None of those claims is true.

The IRS’ main job under the new law isn’t to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them — starting this year — which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution toward their workers’ health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies — in the form of refundable tax credits — to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance.

... This figure originated with a report put out by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on March 18. It said:

GOP Analysis, March 18: IRS may need to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees.

Notice the words "may" and "as many as." This is the highest figure the GOP analysts thought they could support. Notice also the phrase "other employees," which covers everyone down to file clerks and support staff.

The analysts based their 16,500 figure on an assumption that the IRS budget "could" require an additional $10 billion over the next 10 years as a result of the law, a figure they attribute to the Congressional Budget Office. But what CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf actually said in a March 11 letter to congressional leaders is this (with emphasis added):

CBO Director Elmendorf, March 11: CBO has not completed an estimate of all of the discretionary costs that would be associated with H.R. 3590. … [S]uch costs would probably include an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion over 10 years for administrative costs of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

@nam vet ---

"all the treatment" is still going to be billed to you and me whether they are treated in the emergency room or they get health insurance from our income tax dollars

give it up, you're wrong, dude

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

Regardless of whether the IRS will hire 2 or 20,000 agents/file clerks/masseuses, the simple fact of the matter is that the IRS will enforce the law with the same thoughtful, sensitive and pleasant manner with which they enforce the tax laws of the US.

I don't know if you personally have had any dealings with the IRS but they are reasonable, caring and patient folks. They are really just like you and me.

Sure, they have some draconian enforcement mechanisms at their disposal like seizing your bank accounts, putting a lien and foreclosing on your house and garnishing your wages but they wouldn't do those things unless they thought they were for your own good, would they? The IRS is just there to help you and me.

You can count on the IRS giving your situation their own very personal touch.

Now everything is going to be OK, cause the IRS --- well, the IRS is on YOUR side!

I don't know about you, but I feel healthier already! Ouch!

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jimmmmmm 4 years, 8 months ago

So crawl into a hole and hide from the dreaded IRS man. I pay my taxes, and have nothing to hide. Maybe if you have something to hide, you should be worried about all these new IRS agents coming to get you. Fox News told me there will be 16,500 new agents out there.

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NamVet 4 years, 8 months ago

JLM I guess you are one the those people who is always right. I bet you went to West Point.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 8 months ago

seeuski -

Why are you so frightened of the IRS? They are just doing a job making sure that all americans comply with tax policies.

And, yes Obama is the president, whoever had to mention that. He's trying to fix a damn mess. You have to tax in order to recover. The Dems always get blamed for taxes, yet the Reps always blow up the budget and diminish the tax burden. We wouldn't even be in this mess if Gore would have won the election. Oh, that's right..........Gore did win, but was not named president because of Jeb.

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papafu 4 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we can just have more fundraisers for those who aren't insured and be done with it.

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howard_roark 4 years, 8 months ago

Can you tell me,Carole, which types of medical procedures have steadily lowered in cost yet become safer and better all the while? Elective procedures. Do you know why that is? The power of the market. Procedures like Lasik Surgery are not covered by "health insurance" and therefore people actually care about getting value for their dollar. Why is it wrong to ask about cost in a hospital or doctor's office?

What we got from Republicans was too little too late. Obama wasn't going to listen to a thing out of their mouths at the health care summit. He just sat there, smug and elitist. And yeah, Bush actually had some pretty decent ideas about injecting the power of the market into health care (HSAs), but he lost all credibility with horrendous foreign policy and being just plain dumb. P.S. how do you not invite (former physician) Ron Paul to a summit on health care?

What we currently call "health insurance" is nothing of the sort. It is a bass-ackwards payment plan developed when people with no understanding of market principles decided to cap wages and salary. It is funny how The New Deal is really the root of so many problems and people are jumping on board for The Newer Deal.

I know an old lady who swallowed a fly...

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

@ nam vet ---

I'm guessing you are not.

"...one the those people..." LOL

Sometimes, you just have to consider that YOU are "one the those people" who is wrong, no?

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

Reason may have prevailed over fear but it did not put a scratch on stupid.

Remember this is a program which is funded in great party by the presumption that these Chicago machine clowns are going to reduce fraud & waste in Medicare/Medicaid by half a TRILLION dollars!

That is how YOUR government, the Obama administration, is going to fund YOUR newest government entitlement and YOU are not even smart enough to be skeptical? Are you really that ill informed and, well, stupid? Please accept my apology in advance.

I, on the other hand, am going to buy a new Cadillac by collecting cans on the highway right of way.

Wish us both luck! Cause we are going to need it.

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trump_suit 4 years, 8 months ago

We Democrats realize that you are scared and think we are stupid. It would however appear that many of the younger generation take a different view. They are full of hope for the future and support many of the changes that you so despise. As they take their rightful place in the seats of power you may not like the changes they make.

The world however takes a different view of their efforts and America will lead the way to the future wherever that may be.

Hmmm, Howard have you had any heart surgerys, hysterectomy's, bladder, stomache, brain, knee, elbow, shoulder, etc surgery's lately??? There are medical advances everywhere.

Bush did have some good ideas and HSA's were an excellent one. None of the Republican idea's however dealt with the problem of insurance companies denying coverage in the name of profit. They chase the large companies that have larger risk pools but continue to isolate individuals into ever smaller groups so that they can identify and eliminate those costs. That business practice has now been addressed for the better.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't try to make me defend Bush. I can't and won't. Just one comment: you can't blame old George for everything. Having said that, I would rather have tax cuts and see money in citizens pockets and potentially provide investment in businesses and jobs than massive tax increases that are on the horizon. Did you notice, Mr. Obama has a couple of wars going on? Civil rights? I have not seen that change. Enlighten me.

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howard_roark 4 years, 8 months ago

trump- I am sure there are medical advances everywhere; but you missed my point. Elective procedures are increasing in quality while costs are decreasing. Can you say that about "heart surgerys"(sic)?

The market is the best way to eliminate waste and lower costs. Do you expect your car insurance to pay for new tires or an oil change? No! Why do we expect health insurance to pay for all our routine procedures?

BTW, the plural of surgery is surgeries.

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bigfatdog 4 years, 8 months ago

Never put a bumper sticker on my car before BUT you better believe, like a growing majority, I am outraged at what is happening in our government. The citizens are finally waking up!!!!!

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pitpoodle 4 years, 8 months ago

If you can point a finger, point it at Mr. Clinton for a big part of the financial crisis. He insisted that everyone should be a homeowner whether they could afford it or not. Allowing Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac to offer loans with little or no personal assets was not a wise decision. I wouldn't exactly call this a gift from Mr. Clinton but it definitely has had lasting effects. Mr. Obama made the decision to go into Afganistan, didn't he?

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Duke_bets 4 years, 8 months ago

pit - We've been fighting a war in Afghanistan for a decade. The 'little or no personal assets' program as you call it has been in effect since Reagan.

Try again.....

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 8 months ago

Pitpoodle- WTF?? "Mr. Obama made the decision to go into Afganistan, didn't he?" Holy Moley!! Ummmm...NO. Where have YOU been since October 2001, when Mr. BUSH took us into Afghanistan? (and then promptly forgot all about why we were there & decided Iraq was where the action was) No wonder so many people are blaming Democrats when all they do is listen to Far-Fringe talking points.

No, GW took us rightly into Afghanistan when they wouldn't give up Osama bin Laden...the guy who set 9/11 into motion. He was supposedly hiding in Afghanistan, protected under the Taliban regime, if I remember correct. Obama just decided to actually try and pursue that objective instead of ordering us into a country that didn't attack us, didn't have any indication of starting up a new weapons program, didn't have the WMD that we were told we'd find there, all the while letting Osama slip away into obscurity.

Now, we'll see if Obama will pick another country to invade, like Bush, and continue to let Iran and North Korea actually up there uranium enrichment. I'm no fan of Obama, but your statement is what makes Obama and Democrats look like the have Political Doctorates compared to your Political GED. LMAO!!

Okay. I'm done here. Some things are just so idiotic...they need to be pointed out with big, neon-fluorescent letters.

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the_Lizard 4 years, 8 months ago

Great argument George! You offer nothing except the esteemed doctor said so (insert the Obama, Salazar, Bennet et.al. here) and illegal immigrants are people too. I disagree, backing my opinion with facts, but my opinion is not yours so I must be stupid. I'm stunned and deeply offended by your hurtful comments. (well not really, but I wanted to acknowledge your cleverness) Anyway back to my point, this HCR bill is full of unintended consequences that we are barely beginning to realize with the required write downs companies like Caterpillar are experiencing. This couldn't possibly be good for the economy, could it George? Even the Steamboat Ski area claims they will experince huge costs because of it. Will hiring fewer people and paying lower wages really be helpful for the Steamboat economy/ Seriously? What about the unfunded mandates for medicaid imposed on states. This state can't afford it, they are scrambling to cut costs as it is.(or at least they claim they are) We take money from Medicare, rather than using it to shore up medicare, it's used to further expand the welfare state.....and so on.... I for one am worried about the economic state of this country, started by Bush , but taken to astronomically levels by this congress and this Whitehouse. People like the author of this letter, push more entitlments on us by overstating facts. I pointed that fact out. You cannot refute it. BTW you really should see the esteemed doctor about that FEAR of caps. It's just plain queer.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 8 months ago

pit - Tax cuts are off the charts currently. If you don't work and have five kids, you will get all kinds of tax refunds. If you make millions and can deduct everything but the neighbors dog, you will get all kinds of tax refunds.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Kielbasa. I disagree. Remember all the time Mr. Obama spent hemming and hawing before actually making the decision to increase troops and seriously invade Afganistan? It was all over the news. Did you choose to ignore the news coverage at that time? He could have said no, right? This was his decision and now his war. As I said, you can't blame old George for everything. Duke, I realize tax cuts are not in our future however, if you make millions and get tax breaks, it may be possible for you to actually invest in business and jobs. Although, because this administration would rather heavily tax the rich and put their tax money into government programs, it becomes a lose, lose situation for all of us in the long run.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 8 months ago

Okay, one more for pitpoodle- I didn't ignore anything. It doesn't matter whose war it is now (if that's the case, Obama is closer to having a "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq than Bush ever was)- you stated Obama took us into Afghanistan. He didn't. He just expanded the troop level to what it should have been from the start.

During the Bush years, we had an average of 20,000 troops there. (That's a high average, too.) Iraq had an average of about 170,000. So- we more than octupled our troops in a country that did nothing to us compared to the country that was harboring the man who DID attack us. I actually feel much safer now that Afghanistan is "Obama's War" and we actually trying to accomplish the mission. Heck- if McCain hadn't turned into GW Bush Lite during his campaign, I might actually have voted for him instead of a 3rd party candidate and let him have the reigns.

I have no problem with the Afghanistan War. Iraq was the mistake. So yes- I can blame GWB for not concentrating our forces where they should have been instead of sending them to Iraq. I guess I'm the only person who thinks that had we left Iraq alone in 2003, we probably would have upped our chances of capturing Osama. In fact, the National Debt might just be a bit smaller had that been done.

Next time, use the Preview Comment a few times to make sure you don't get taken out of context thru no fault but your own.

Principal Out!!! (Sorry, Todd! It was just too appropriate!)

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Duke_bets 4 years, 8 months ago

pit - Please quit your rants. They are diluted and pointless. You still really believe that Afghanistan is Obama's fault. Bush chose to blow holes in the sand and rock, not Obama. Obama is basically the janitor, cleaning up the mess that those before him have made.

You are also 100% wrong on the tax situation. Let me guess, H&R Block completed your taxes.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Duke, I am entitled to my opinion as are you. I am pretty sure of my tax situation opinion whether you wish to believe it or not has little to do with H&R Block. I'm not sure janitor is the proper word to describe Mr. Obama.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 8 months ago

pit- I'll leave you alone because you don't seem to get the point. The Afghanistan blurbs were priceless. You don't understand sarcasm, let alone the tax world.

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the_Lizard 4 years, 8 months ago

Very disappointing George, very very disappointing (sigh) Guess I was something, anything, to refute my facts. ahh well.

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 8 months ago

If our political "leaders" are this deceitful, what makes you think that their production company(insert "news" media agency here) would be any more honest or truthful about what's really going on in the world? Do you think that they tell us what's really going on or just what they think we need to know?

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread560493/pg1

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seeuski 4 years, 8 months ago

Ah, we still have the Saddam Hussein defense team here so a little irrefutable history is a must. Deroy Murdock put together a very informative list of Saddam Hussein's connection to terrorist groups and acts around the world. http://www.husseinandterror.com/ And it is ironic that one forum member here now wants to give credit to Obama for the success in Iraq.... "Obama is closer to having a "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq than Bush ever was", How convenient!!! Obama voted against the surge in Iraq and it was Bush who brought any sense of freedom to the Iraqi's and their ability to have free elections (maybe better than our own, hence the debacle in Philly with the New Black Panthers election tactics and their subsequent exoneration by Obama) and as of this post ACORN has no offices in Iraq.

Anyone who could still to this day admit to wanting Saddam still in charge is sad. Not one bus bombing in Israel since 2003 when terrorist funding by Saddam was ended, and until Ft. Hood and the Little Rock shooting http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7730637&page=1 we had no successful attacks here.

With all the trails leading back to Saddam Hussein starting with the first WTC bombing and the OK city bombing and the rest leading up to 9/11 I find it silly to make the case for Hussein's innocence.

"The most incriminating testimony centers around former Iraqi soldier, Hussain Al-Hussaini, whom witnesses place in the company of bomber Timothy McVeigh prior to the blast, seated in the passenger seat of the Ryder truck the morning of April 19" http://jaynadavis.com/highlights.html Clinton Iraq adviser, Laurie Mylroie, surely wouldn't... http://www.lauriemylroie.com/ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/gunning/interviews/woolsey.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Ra...

So much evidence against Hussein, why would any US President ignore it? Clinton did, look where it lead us, to thousands killed by terrorists and the need to invade by a bold President. OH, and what ever happened to the blood for oil that Bush supposedly sent us to war for?

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