Routt County Commissioners Diane Mitsch Bush and Doug Monger listen to Finance Director Dan Strnad during an overview of the 2011 budget Monday afternoon at the Commissioners Hearing Room.

Photo by John F. Russell

Routt County Commissioners Diane Mitsch Bush and Doug Monger listen to Finance Director Dan Strnad during an overview of the 2011 budget Monday afternoon at the Commissioners Hearing Room.

Routt County commissioners discuss 2011 budget

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The increasing cost of health care benefits for Routt County employees hit the county commissioners like a defensive end going unblocked to a quarterback’s blind side Friday. By Monday, the commissioners had begun to adjust to the news of a 47 percent increase in premiums as they tackled a budget overview with Finance Director Dan Strnad.

Commissioner Chairwoman Nancy Stahoviak already has said the county would put its health care coverage out to bid after learning that the quote from the existing provider, UnitedHealthcare, increased the bill to cover the county’s 270 employees from $2.6 million to $3.8 million in 2011.

“Do we pass that on to employees?” Sahoviak asked rhetorically.

Strnad said United’s proposal effectively would raise the annual cost of providing health care for a single employee from $5,800 to $8,600 and for a family from $14,700 to $21,600.

“To pass that on to employees, that’s huge,” Strnad said. “To pass even half that on to employees is huge.”

Strnad had budgeted for a 10 percent increase, and personnel costs were expected to increase by only 1 percent before the health insurance premium was cast in doubt. A 5 percent pay cut for employees from 2009 remains in the budget.

He added that among the cited reasons for the bigger increase is the aging demographic of county employees and “catastrophic” claims exceeding $50,000 last year by six employees. Four of them involve long-term circumstances, he said.

As recently as Friday, Strnad thought he was bringing forward a proposed $28.8 million budget that was down 22 percent from 2010’s $31.9 million budget.

Now, he’s added health insurance premiums to road paving and the uncertainty of tourism-dependent sales tax revenues to the short list of major issues facing the commissioners.

After hearing that last ski season’s airline traffic was off by 4,000 passengers and the number of arriving airline seats is down for the coming season, Strnad said he felt he had to reduce projected sales tax revenues by 8 percent to $4.62 million, a decline of $374,000 from 2010 budgeted figures. Updated projections for actual collections in 2010 stand at $4.25 million.

Commissioner Doug Monger was optimistic about the coming winter tourism season.

“I still think there’s going to be people coming here,” Monger said. “I think we might see a change in attitude when we get this election done.”

Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush took a more conservative approach.

“I don’t want to count on it,” she said. “I’d rather be pleasantly surprised if we have a good season.”

Even with Strnad’s conservative approach to budgeting for sales tax revenues, the shortfall will be more than offset by an increase of $487,000 in property tax revenues that is allowable under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

Most of that increase is attributable to new construction, Strnad said, specifically some large condominium projects such as One Steamboat Place.

Comments

John Fielding 4 years, 2 months ago

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It is time to consider a completely different approach to health insurance as an employee benefit. Maybe we should offer the amount of the benefit directly to the individual and let them decide what sort of policy suits them. Many would likely opt for catastrophic coverage only and use home remedies and good diet to maintain health.

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

You were warned that the Obamacare nightmare was a lie and now we have a 47% increase on the Taxpayers of this county for the increase in costs. And I know the reasoning will be everything other than Obamacare because UnitedHealthcare did not mention it, I have the answer. UnitedHealthcare is connected at the hip with Obamacare as the main provider for AARP who, as a political move, endorsed Obamacare. Also Sabelious has warned Insurers not to mention Obamacare as the reason for increased premiums or else. Thugs. And Obama claimed "no one earning less than $250,000 a year would see a single cent increase in their taxes". I recall many here like myself arguing that these stealth tax increases were coming, well here they are folks. Hey Doug, leave the MSNBC forecasts for an upswing in the economy aside and go with reality. At least Strnad is using actual data for these forecasts and if the Dems hold the House on Nov 2nd you might as well get ready for more of the same gloom and doom especially if they shove the scam "Cap and Tax" increase on all of us.

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

Uh John, a new law took effect recently and is about to be enforced on all of us next April 15th. Yes the IRS will be collecting and enforcing our purchase of Government approved Health care coverage, whatever that will be. Yea, it was Pelosi who said "they had to pass it to see what was in it". Well we are seeing first hand today. It gets worse over time as the full brunt doesn't kick in until 2014.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Anyone bother reading the article?

Six employees had catastrophic claims exceeding $50K. Those claims probably were not $50,001, but $100K, $250K and such. And four of them involve long term conditions so it'll be that sort of numbers year after year. So that is probably close to $1M of likely expenses right there.

United Healthcare is a private profit making company so they need a profit on the expenses so add up these people's projected ongoing catastrophic costs, figure some other older employees will have health issues and add in the new law which makes it harder to take premiums from someone and then deny them coverage for medical conditions and this is what you get.

Obama's health care may have been a mistake because it fundamentally failed to address the issue that we pay twice as much per citizen for health care as the rest of the industrialized world and we don't even get better results. It needed an option for people to sign up for something comparable to healthcare offered elsewhere. A health insurance option with rationed care is a whole lot better for those that cannot afford $14K for a family of four.

I'll take rationed health care as it is offered in Europe. They are overall getting better results from their system. They pay a lot less for the same drugs. They pay a fraction of our administrative overhead costs. Our system is so messed up that it would probably cost the county less to sign up with a German or French private insurer and send people there for the expensive procedures.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

Are the shopping around or just sticking with UNH?

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott, you used to make some sense in your arguments. I was expecting that the answer would be what the Insurer told the County as you are quoting. The problem though is that nationally there are policy increases that are effecting all policy holders and when the Insurers first explained that it was because of the new laws the White House sent out the attack dog Sebelious to threaten that "we won't allow" the Insurers to make such claims without repercussions. So why not go ahead and move to Europe and get into those rationed policies instead of being a part of the machine that is wanting to ruin our great health system? You may hate the free market where the Insurance companies make a 3% profit on average but your love for the Governments rationed, spread the wealth system that includes 100's of $billions in fraud and waste seems to suit you just fine. Go figure.

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

I must also react to your quip, "I'll take rationed health care as it is offered in Europe. They are overall getting better results from their system."

Somewhere in your Progressive heart you know you are fibbing on our health providers in this Country. We ARE the best in the World and continually lying about it is a tragedy, especially when we are the place that Foreigners with the money flock to for the best care. Socialized medicine is just as bad as Socialized Governance, it is evil and it is always a failure. It is time to change the Congress and repeal Obamacare and then institute the reforms called for by the Republicans.

Open up competition between insurers across state lines. Attack the fraud in Medicare and Medicade. Institute tort reform. Set up clinics to deal with the uninsured that use the ER's paid for with subsidies from existing policies and other sources. Offer tax credits for lower income policy holders like McCain suggested. Keep our healthcare privatized or watch it go down the tubes with the rest of the Government/Unionized businesses that fail.

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blue_spruce 4 years, 2 months ago

is it just me or does that picture of doug make it look like he only has one tooth!!?

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

housepoor, Thank you for the history lesson. It shows that the promises that Obama made about reducing Healthcare costs was a lie, especially with the accelerated rate of increase at reaching 47%. Now what?

This ain't W.VA what up wid the one tooth?

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ftpheide 4 years, 2 months ago

blue, It's a one tooth! That man needs better insurance!

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mtntrekker 4 years, 2 months ago

I worked at an architectural firm several years ago. We had health insurance.
We started with one healthcare company (probably UHC). When their rates went up, we shopped for a new provider with lower rates. It seemed we had to change providers every year or so to get a lower rate. We had a broker do the work for us. It was a pain to change providers all the time, but it saved everbody a lot of money. That's what the City should do.
I guess they are on the right track by sending their health care out to bid. Get rid of UHC. Sometimes you can find a better rate with better coverage just by shopping around. Or we could all move to Canada. Obama had a good idea, but it was not well thought out.

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mtntrekker 4 years, 2 months ago

Also, now that I think about it, why was this healthcare increase a suprise for everybody? Somebody knew the rates were going up and they could have passed along the info at the water cooler (so to speak) just to keep employees in the loop. Why wait until the budget comes out let let people know?

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Troutguy 4 years, 2 months ago

Unless things have changed drastically in the last decade, the last time this survey was completed, The World Health Organization rates the US health care system as 37th in the world. Not something to be proud of. Although we're number 1 in health care spending per person, we rank 36th for life expectency, 39th for infant mortality, etc., etc. This tells me we are far from the best health care in the world.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

The problem of public employee pay and benefits is sweeping the nation, and we are in real trouble. Politicians must share in this, as getting elected means it is not wise to offend anyone. We are becoming topheavy with goverrnment employee compensation. In the future we need to see politicians willing to pass up the smiley face, and look out for the welfare of all. Not everyone will be happy.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

United States is 33rd in the world for infant mortality rates according to the UN. According to the CIA we are 46th. The UN also tracks mortality rates for kids under 5 years old. We are also 33rd by that measure.

We are 38th in life expectancy.

We are #1 in percentage of GDP spent on health care. No other country spends more money per capita on health care.

We are crippling ourselves by our inability to efficiency provide cost effective health care.

I have no plans to move to Europe. I just wish that our country was willing to look at what is broken compared to what works elsewhere and consider moving towards what works.

Countries like Germany have learned from their overly restrictive hiring and firing laws to change their laws to be closer to the USA. So if they can learn from us, why is it so wrong to learn from them?

Our refusal to learn is making us a poorer country that is tolerating a health care system that is not providing results anywhere close to what we should be getting considering the resources we are dedicating to health care.

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1999 4 years, 2 months ago

gee...i have to pay for mine and my familys health care.

why don't these people ahve to pay?

and it's coming out of my taxes?

my community budget?

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

Do you guys, who are touting the WHO on infant mortality, know when other Countries consider an infant a human mortal? For instance in Cuba, Michael Moores favorite, it is one week out of the womb. This crap has been exposed for the farce that it is. I think considering that the USA considers premie and stillborn's in the figures it is a no brainer that we are down the list, we just have a higher value on life I guess. But go ahead and hop on over to one of the 32 Countries that are ahead of us for your care, be my guest.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Sees, Actually I was quoting CIA (USA intelligence agency World fact book) as well.

So our own CIA lies to us about other countries having better health care? And the CIA doesn't know about and is unable to adjust for whatever tricks you claim Cuba uses to get better results?

So, by your logic, when another country educates our kids better than us then we should accept that the USA cannot do any better and should move to that country?

So what is so wrong about learning and improving? Are you that ideologically committed to being ignorant and continuing to fail?

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sledneck 4 years, 2 months ago

Hee hee hee... suckers!!

Keep expanding government. Hee hee hee.

More county employees, more open space, more land purchases, more bike trails, more community centers, more affordable housing, yes we can.

SUCKERS.

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mavis 4 years, 2 months ago

99---- you are confusing me--you don't want to donate on this one but you do the other one???? HAHA @ least the other one is cheaper and I still don't agree with it!

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exduffer 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott look it up, some countries don't count children until they reach one year of age. the US stats account for any viable pregnancy, miscarriages included. How in gods name could the CIA keep track of that if no actual deaths occured?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

So here's the summary from a 2009 CDC report. Basically, we have too many more premature births. Just because you don't like the facts doesn't mean that you can invent reasons why those facts don't count.

In 2005, the United States ranked 30th in the world in infant mortality, behind most European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Israel. There are some differences among countries in the reporting of very small infants who may die soon after birth. However, it appears unlikely that differences in reporting are the primary explanation for the United States’ relatively low international ranking. In 2005, 22 countries had infant mortality rates of 5.0 or below. One would have to assume that these countries did not report more than one-third of their infant deaths for their infant mortality rates to equal or exceed the U.S. rate. This level of underreporting appears unlikely for most developed countries.

The United States compares favorably with Europe in the survival of infants born preterm. Infant mortality rates for preterm infants are lower in the United States than in most European countries. However, infant mortality rates for infants born at 37 weeks of gestation or more are generally higher in the United States than in European countries.

The primary reason for the United States’ higher infant mortality rate when compared with Europe is the United States’ much higher percentage of preterm births. In 2004, 1 in 8 infants born in the United States were born preterm, compared with 1 in 18 in Ireland and Finland. Preterm infants have much higher rates of death or disability than infants born at 37 weeks of gestation or more (2-4, 6), so the United States’ higher percentage of preterm births has a large effect on infant mortality rates. If the United States had the same gestational age distribution of births as Sweden, the U.S. infant mortality rate (excluding births at less than 22 weeks of gestation) would go from 5.8 to 3.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a 33% decline. These data suggest that preterm birth prevention is crucial to lowering the U.S. infant mortality rate.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Note that the USA because of premature births that means we are spending a ton of money on infants in NICU while other countries spend a lot less money far more effectively on prenatal care so they have less than half as many premature births.

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exduffer 4 years, 2 months ago

Bait taken! Would you like me to show you studies where the age at which women get pregnant affects preterm births?

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott, You got bashed on your Islam is peace and doesn't harm Christians theory and you will get crushed here, it is pretty obvious you are at a loss when you have to accuse me of ignorance in the Education problem. Do you want to go into that argument now, about the Unions ruining public education with the help of Dems who need their political help? How the recent $30billion stimulus went to the pensions and political funds and not those in need. Maybe you would have done better to have been educated in a Communist Country then you would know where we are heading here in the USA and how it is wrong and destructive.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Exduffer, Sure, more information is always better.

Sees, Yeah, run away from the topic at hand and go scurrying off into the rest of your paranoid theories.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Say what you will, supporters of Obamacare. Eventually you will realize that it threatens regular working people's ability to get ahead. Increased insurance costs for Routt County taxpayers is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Eventually you will realize the ongoing trend of ever escalating costs of health insurance have been reducing the number of insured people. You are blaming Obamacare for what already exists.

Obamacare is not what is causing the county's insurance quote to go up 47%. That sort of increase is not the typical rate increase. That 47% is because of several county employees that have expensive long term health issues.

County could be immoral, fire those people and save $1M in health insurance.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott, you don't know that this excessive 47% increase is because of expensive long-term issues. The result of Obamacare is increased costs for insurance for working people. I think everyone recognizes that fact. I blame Obamacare for the future increases over and above what we now pay. As you well know, we are expected to cover costs of those who can't, don't or won't pay their insurance costs themselves. Forcing people to have insurance will not work constitutionally and you can expect courts to strike that down. Right now many insurance companies are trying to protect their interests by limiting their coverage, for instance, children (as single entity) and raising their prices before the government steps in with legislation to say they can't raise prices. That's one of those pesky unintended consequences. It's got nothing to do with morality. Don't be silly, no one at the County will be fired because of long-term illness even if the County wanted to do that.

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Troutguy 4 years, 2 months ago

Poodle, read the article. It says that part of the reason for the 47% increase is due to 6 claims by county employees exceeding $50,000, four of those involving long term circumstances. Also, health care costs have gone up 120% over the last decade. Is Obama to blame for increases over the whole decade too?

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Trout, you can read the article again. It says "part" of the reason for the increase. It is highly unlikely that it is responsible for a 47% increase amounting to over $1m. I believe the rest is due to increases based on fear of what Obamacare will bring. Again, I blame Obamacare for future increases over and above what we now pay. Undoubtedly, 120% will seem small by comparison.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Considering health insurance quotes are generally considered to be up by about 10% with about 3% of that due to Obamacare,then it would be logical to calculate that the "part" of the 47% increase that is attributable to issues related to Routt County employees is about 37%.

The article noted that Routt County employees are getting older so that is partially responsible as are the 4 employees with long term expensive medical issues.

Or you can assume that United Healthcare is betting their business on irrational fears that some new law will prohibit future rate increases so they are jacking up Routt County's health care insurance by 47% and risking that some other health insurance company will take away their business.

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ybul 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott,

IF we have too many premature births. What is the cause, the symptom is that there are too many premature births, the cause is something else entirely. Is it environmental, nutritional, etc.

Poor healthcare results and statistics are showing the symptoms of something. Maybe it is all the processed food, that is encouraged through the highways our government has built. Maybe it is the result of the grain subsidies that our government has created to have an abundance of food. maybe it is a result of drinking more than other countries.

We do not know and are simply using statistics to rally for our cause that our health care system stinks.

I would counter that it is our government intervention into food production, tax breaks for saving in IRA's 401ks, tax break for carrying a mortgage, and other factors which have facilitated the rise in corporations power to control the system and give us crappy food that makes us sick.

Just wait for the food safety act to get passed in the lame duck session this December as it could not get out of its committee and yet Harry Reid called cloiture on the bill to get it to a lame duck vote. That will further destroy our ability to grow food as small farms and help to maintain the consolidation within corporate ag that was being broken by the local food movement.

Then look at O's signature of an executive order to move us into alignment with the UN's desire to have a uniform code for vitamins and supplements. This will eliminate the ability of an individual to take vitamins without a perscription.

I think you need to wake up as our government is not working towards the benefit of the people. It is working for the benefit of the corporation, does not matter which party the laws passed all do the same thing.

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Troutguy 4 years, 2 months ago

So, if Obamacare hadn't passed and future health care costs still went up like they have over the last decade, who would be to blame then? The sad thing is nobody seems to talk about the giant elephant in the room. Personal responsiblility. As a nation, we are eating, drinking, and smoking our way to bad health. 71% of the population is considered overweight or obese. I recently read somewhere that of all companies that offer health care to their employees, 2/3 of them cited the poor health habits of their employees as a major challenge in reducing health care cost increases. Drug companies only interests these days seems to be in selling us meds that keep us from getting up in the middle of the night to go pee, pills that hopefully won't give you an erection for four hours, etc, etc, etc. There's a drug out there that will give you longer eye lashes, for goodness sake. I didn't realize the epidemic of short lashes out there! Oh, the humanity. How about end of life care? How many millions do we need to spend to keep somebody alive for a few more weeks, more often than not hooked up to feeding tubes and repirators. There is so much dialog that we, as a nation, need to be having. Instead, we have a nation divided, unwilling to compromise or have civil discussions about everything from health care to tax breaks to financial reform.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott, I said: you don't know that this excessive 47% increase is because of expensive long-term issues. Obviously, the $47% increase is not all OCare. I do not know where you got the 3% that you attribute to OCare. If it is 3% or whatever the number, it comes from taxpayers. All we really know about the insurance charges is that a 10% increase for insurance was budgeted in 2011. Irrational or not, companies exist to make a profit and it would seem to me that they would hedge their bets on what will come out of Washington. Maybe another insurance company would give a better price with less coverage, higher deductibles, etc. We don't know. No matter how you paint it, the result of Obamacare is increased costs for insurance for working people. I blame Obamacare for the future increases over and above what we now pay.

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John Fielding 4 years, 2 months ago

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I still say give the benefit amount to the employees and let them make their own choices.

.

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exduffer 4 years, 2 months ago

I want to drive 20 MPH over the speed limit at night without lights on bald tires in a snowstorm. AND only pay $25 per month for insurance.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Exduffer, Please don't forget that data on premature births by age.

I don't understand how an analogy of blatantly reckless behavior without consequences is related to the USA paying about twice as much per citizen for health and having overall worse results.

Ybul, Most people blame our health care system for our higher rate of premature births. The countries with the lowest rates have very good prenatal care and almost never have the initial medical contact with a pregnant woman in the emergency room.

In contrast, we have a great many people that are under insured whom do not visit their doctor during pregnancy until it is an emergency.

Prenatal issues such as high blood pressure and so on greatly increase the risk of premature births. Virtually all of the pregnant women in some countries have those issues treated. We might have as many as 20% of pregnant women getting essentially no prenatal care.

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ybul 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott, High blood pressure is a symptom of another problem, poor diet. They are all symptoms. Western diets, grain based, fueled by government subsidies, are too blame for our poor health.

We are what we eat, our food is what it eats and so on. It has little to nothing to do with prenatal care, it has to do with super sized foods and the least costly calories being fast food, as a result of government subsidized crap.

My friend had high chloresterol and took five drugs to control it and finally started taking an omega 3 supplement and his condition was cured. Another friend had a skin exema condition which he saw several dermatologists to cure and they could not solve it. I suggested flax seed oil and his condition cleared up in two weeks.

Do you ever think as to why companies are trying to market foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, because they promote good health.

Then throw in the fact that our flour is milled weeks/months prior to use and the nutrients in the flour vanish when ground as they oxidize. Those wonderful pizzas that we all love actually deplete our bones of trace minerals as our bodies internal nutrient levels seek balance with the depleted food sources we ingest. This is the basis for holistic medicine as described in ancient Greece.

We are so blind to everything. Government and its intervention will simply muddy the water and make more problems (as the grain subsidies have done).

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ybul 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott since your a a statistics freak. How about pulling up the breakdown on medical expenditures for research and what percentage of the US health expenditures come from research in relation to other nations.

Also, EX's links provide a great reference on how in the US women are having kids at much later age, they are having their kids artificially inseminated which leads to multiple embryos, those costs are not covered in other countries, nor is research counted in other countries as they simply pull out the expenditures by the government.

Can't agree with your thought process on this issue as you seem to selectively look at facts and not the root causes of the problem. Which we have trained our children to do in schooling. Critical thinking is a component of education that seems to be lacking.

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John Fielding 4 years, 2 months ago

.

If you want a real treat, bake bread, muffins or cookies with fresh ground wheat, spelt, oats, corn, you name it. The fresh milling makes a big difference in taste and nutrition.

If you can't find a grinder, bring your grain over and you can use my Whispermill, does five pounds in about three minuets. You'll just need to buy your own canister assembly, $29.99 at www.kitchenkneads.com.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Ex, So yes, pregnancy at different ages results in different rates of medical issues. Are you claiming that we have so many more older women getting pregnant than just about every country in Europe to explain the difference in infant mortality?

Seems that experts in the field attribute Sweden's low infant mortality to the quality and effectiveness of their prenatal care.

Ybul, It appears that European and the US are close in general pharma research and the USA has about 3/4ths of biotech. Since biotech basically started in the shadows of Stanford University utilizing the same venture capitalism that allowed the US to be the world leaders in so many areas of tech, it is not at all clear that any aspect of our health care system is responsible for our advantage in biotech.

Since basic research can occur anywhere, but the resulting drugs can only be sold where it has been approved then presumably another question would be what drugs are available in the US and not in lower paying Europe. Answer looks to be very few. That the drug companies are willing to take lower profits in Europe to not lose out to their competitors. The drug companies do make more money on their drugs in the USA. Though, in the US they have far higher marketing and promotional expenses

There is some question of what exactly would happen if the USA were to pay as little for drugs as they pay in Europe. There would be some less money for research. Though, it would appear that the US gov't would save enough money that they could use a portion of that savings to give further tax credits for research to support research at current levels and still be spending less for drugs.

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ybul 4 years, 2 months ago

Could the same reasons as to why our country is so obese be the reason we have more infant mortality? You seem to fail to acknowledge nutrition being a major component in the equation.

Garbage in equals garbage out.

Maybe those that want universal coverage in the US fund studies that will show why we should have the system that europeans have. Studies are flawed and if you give me a lab and several million I will prove whatever you want. There are so many examples of studies being conducted to provide the results desired. Why would this not be a similar case. Oh I guess it might be that the study supports your claims.

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Troutguy 4 years, 2 months ago

Another elephant in the room that is not talked about is how much the drug companies spend on advertising. You think all those commercials of couples sitting in their bathtubs in the backyard are free? The most recent numbers I could dig up are from 2004, but they state that Big Pharm spends almost twice of its money as much on advertising as it did on R&D. 24.4% on advertising, 13.4% on R&D. How much do they advertise over in Europe? Or is this just a U.S. thing? Maybe that explains the higher drug prices here vs. there?

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exduffer 4 years, 2 months ago

Do a little demographic search Scott and see what kind of population mix that the countries rated higher than the US have.

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Jeff_Kibler 4 years, 2 months ago

Trout: It's not just advertising. Canada and Europe fix the prices, i.e. they only pay Big Pharma as they see fit. That's why you can buy mail-order Canadian pharmaceuticals cheaper than in the US. In essence, we are subsidizing these other countries' pharmaceuticals. A bit like how we subsidize their militaries. Perhaps it's time these other countries pay the true cost of their drugs and defense.

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

ybul,

You have nailed it with your accurate reasoning here. I couldn't agree more about the quality of diet and the result on our health. It is quite frustrating that people like Scott would be submissive to a Big Government run health care system believing that the result will be the fake euphoria he reads about in fudged reports. The Brits are privatizing their health system because it is such an utter failure. Oh yea, our new Medicare Czar Berwick loves that system. But he is also on record for his approval of health care rationing, those pesky little death panels. Anyone who would trust a Government for their personal health care is in need of immediate mental health care.

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trump_suit 4 years, 2 months ago

Isn't this just like the insurance industry. A 47% increase in premiums is exactly what they do to businesses that they no longe want to insure. Bottom line is that the Routt County Group has become too expensive for them and tehy want to eliminate that risk.

If the insurance companies were required to balance out that risk over their entire business instead of being allowed to target specific groups this would not be a problem. That is just one of the benefits in the so called "obamacare" that so many of you are screaming about.

Follow your own advice and "read the Bill" and you will find that on balance it is not the Gov't takeover of health care that the Conservatives and Tea party would have you beleive. There are actually many provisions that will make things better. The biggest question is whay do we have to wait. make them all take effect right now.

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JLM 4 years, 2 months ago

The frustration level that has built up in this country about health care will not be resolved by Obamacare.

Nobody really knows what is in it. As an example, did you know there is a tax on residential home sales --- subject to conditions which will likely focus on higher net worth individuals unless you have a second residence or vacation home, something that will have a meaningful impact on SBS --- that was never disclosed.

I have read the completed bill --- and it took a lot longer than a couple of days. I am truly discouraged.

While there may be many reasons that the County's health insurance quote has skyrocketed --- the one thing you can count on is that Obamacare has not made it any better.

BTW, if you really want to evaluate health care, look into the mortality rates of cancer victims 5 years after contracting cancer. You are very, very lucky to be in the US.

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1999 4 years, 2 months ago

it's unfortunate that the health care bill was allowed to be weighed down and watered down with silly measures stuck in there.

this is the fault of BOTH parties.

Our gov should really be quite ashamed of themselves.

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

The bill was not allowed to be watered down, it was shoved down"our throats" and it is a pile of lies. Remember the closed door in the White House during the Obamacare planning? Only one side of the aisle is responsible for this fraud. The Republicans plainly explained their plans for dealing with the Healthcare issues through private sector improvements, they were silenced as being the party of NO. We are now the party of YES, Yes to repealing this dog of a policy and replacing it with the changes that were put forth that would actually do what is needed.

The current joke of a policy and what it does not do.

Lower cost Improve care Keeping ones Doctor or old policy lowering premiums No Gov personal intervention in treatment choices No taxpayer funding of abortions Fixing of Medicare fraud and waste No cuts to Medicare funding(they claim the 500 billion in cuts will deal with fraud) No tax increases Tort reform

The breadth of what we face is yet to be known in its fullest glory.

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