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road kill
10-12-2009, 12:28 PM
Obamacare Invades Your Wallet





Throughout his campaign, and even in to the first few months in office, President Barack Obama repeatedly promised the American people that his health care plan would reduce their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It has been a while since President Obama made that promise, and any honest look at the health legislation being considered in Congress explains why.
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The Senate Finance Committee bill written by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) (the Baucus bill) first drives up the cost of health insurance for all Americans and then forces everyone to buy it or face tax penalties or jail time. While the Baucus bill does cap out-of-pocket costs based on a person’s income, the effect on American families is still staggering. According to the Center for Data Analysis, the Baucus bill would:

For individuals making $34,140 (three times the Federal Poverty Level) the Baucus health care proposal could mandate up to $4,097 in annual premiums, a sum which could have been spent on over nine months of food, almost four months of housing or well over a year of utilities.

For a family of four making $69,480 (300% above poverty) the Baucus bill mandates annual health insurance premiums of $8,338, which would be worth the equivalent of over ten months of food, four months of housing or almost two years of utilities.

For individuals earning $45,520(400% above poverty) Baucus mandates $5,462 for health insurance, or over a year of food, four months of rent or a year and a half of utilities.

For families earning $92,640 (400% above poverty) Baucus mandates $11,117 in health premiums, the equivalent of over a year of food, five months of housing or two years of utilities.

And those numbers include the subsidies for health insurance in the Baucus bill. To pay for all this new health care spending, plus the massive expansion of Medicaid, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Baucus bill will collect $4 billion in fines from those who do not purchase insurance, $200 billion taxing health insurance companies with generous health plans, and $25 billion in taxes on employers. Not to mention the billions in cuts to Medicare payments to hospitals which will result in significant cost shifting to consumers.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has done a study on what all these new taxes and regulations will do to Americans health insurance premiums and the results are not pretty. Instead of reducing the average family’s health insurance premiums by $2,500 per year, as President Obama promised, the Baucus bill would actually raise them by $4,000 more than they would have been without reform.

The Baucus bill spends at least $1 trillion, fails to cover all Americans, taxes employers for creating jobs, and inflicts higher out-of-pocket health care costs on all Americans. We can do better.

_________________________________________________
A little from Heritage Foundation.
Can't wait to see the liberal spin and snopes check!!:D

dnf777
10-12-2009, 02:57 PM
Here's why we need tort reform as part of any health care bill. Expect to see much more of this, possibly coming to a hospital near you!

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/09285/1004908-100.stm

With reimbursements going down, and insurance premiums going up, some docs are taking down their ob shingle. Some hospitals as well.

Uncle Bill
10-14-2009, 02:30 PM
Let me get this straight.
We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it,

passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,

signed by a president who also hasn't read it, and who smokes,


with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,

overseen by a surgeon general who is obese,

and financed by a country that's broke.

What possibly could go wrong?

UB

Buzz
10-14-2009, 03:06 PM
Obamacare Invades Your Wallet





PricewaterhouseCoopers has done a study on what all these new taxes and regulations will do to Americans health insurance premiums and the results are not pretty. Instead of reducing the average family’s health insurance premiums by $2,500 per year, as President Obama promised, the Baucus bill would actually raise them by $4,000 more than they would have been without reform.

_________________________________________________
A little from Heritage Foundation.
Can't wait to see the liberal spin and snopes check!!:D

We now know that this PricewaterhouseCoopers study was commissioned by AHIP, and did not analyze the bill in it's entirety, only the parts that AHIP asked to have looked at.

I'm not a supporter of the "Bacus Bill" but this study is unreliable.

TXduckdog
10-14-2009, 03:16 PM
Here's why we need tort reform as part of any health care bill. Expect to see much more of this, possibly coming to a hospital near you!

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/09285/1004908-100.stm

With reimbursements going down, and insurance premiums going up, some docs are taking down their ob shingle. Some hospitals as well.


I am so right there with you on this one.

Uncle Bill
10-14-2009, 06:17 PM
Here's why we need tort reform as part of any health care bill. Expect to see much more of this, possibly coming to a hospital near you!

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/09285/1004908-100.stm

With reimbursements going down, and insurance premiums going up, some docs are taking down their ob shingle. Some hospitals as well.

What wishful thinking. Your party is BEHOLDING to those shysters. If you believe all the democrat attorneys that are in politics to protect the ass of their associates, will allow tort reform to enter the discussion, you are smoking the same stuff as those Noble Swedes.

Of course tort reform is probably the most important part of re-vamping any healthcare program, but it won't happen in this environment.

Nice try, however. Always happy to see someone in your profession recognize how your ox can be helped from being gored so badly.

UB

dnf777
10-14-2009, 06:34 PM
What wishful thinking. Your party is BEHOLDING to those shysters. If you believe all the democrat attorneys that are in politics to protect the ass of their associates, will allow tort reform to enter the discussion, you are smoking the same stuff as those Noble Swedes.

Of course tort reform is probably the most important part of re-vamping any healthcare program, but it won't happen in this environment.

Nice try, however. Always happy to see someone in your profession recognize how your ox can be helped from being gored so badly.

UB

My party is independent. I have no party. The dems are obviously in the pocket of trial attorneys, I don't dispute that. But what did Bill Frist (R-TN) do when he had a republican house, republican senate, and republican president?

Seems like neither democrats or republicans are serious about tort reform. Guess I'm just screwed.

luvmylabs23139
10-14-2009, 08:28 PM
[quote=dnf777;511467]Here's why we need tort reform as part of any health care bill.

We actually agree on something!:lol:

luvmylabs23139
10-14-2009, 08:32 PM
We now know that this PricewaterhouseCoopers study was commissioned by AHIP, and did not analyze the bill in it's entirety, only the parts that AHIP asked to have looked at.

I'm not a supporter of the "Bacus Bill" but this study is unreliable.

Reality, if the Bacus bill passed as is it would be in my personal financial best interest to ditch my health insurance, pay the fine, and if anything major happened pick up insurance at that time.

Buzz
10-14-2009, 09:29 PM
Reality, if the Bacus bill passed as is it would be in my personal financial best interest to ditch my health insurance, pay the fine, and if anything major happened pick up insurance at that time.

Correct. Not very smart is it?

M&K's Retrievers
10-14-2009, 09:35 PM
Reality, if the Bacus bill passed as is it would be in my personal financial best interest to ditch my health insurance, pay the fine, and if anything major happened pick up insurance at that time.

Right and you won't have worry about that nasty pre-existing condition provision which protects insurance companies from being selected against. Kinda like buying homeowners insurance after your house is on fire.

txbadger
10-15-2009, 07:36 AM
While the president derided the insurer covering 97% of the covered in AL he neglected their net profit was 2%. Folks, there's a reason the FEP is covered by private insurance and medicare/medicaid is run by private insurance .. because the government isn't capable of running anything.

Uncle Bill
10-15-2009, 11:11 AM
My party is independent. I have no party. The dems are obviously in the pocket of trial attorneys, I don't dispute that. But what did Bill Frist (R-TN) do when he had a republican house, republican senate, and republican president?

Seems like neither democrats or republicans are serious about tort reform. Guess I'm just screwed.

He was fighting against the Dingy Harrys and Tom Daschholes that wouldn't let the tort reform see the light of day. Unlike what the Dems have today, Frist didn't have a 60 member majority, so don't give me that crap about it being equal and noone did anything when they could have.

You can claim to be an independant, but your in lock step with that 'other' independant in the Senate, and we all know his beliefs. While I'm sure you recognize the acronym RINO, are you familiar with the SIIC-O terminology? Try it, you'll like it.

UB

dnf777
10-15-2009, 12:39 PM
He was fighting against the Dingy Harrys and Tom Daschholes that wouldn't let the tort reform see the light of day. Unlike what the Dems have today, Frist didn't have a 60 member majority, so don't give me that crap about it being equal and noone did anything when they could have.

You can claim to be an independant, but your in lock step with that 'other' independant in the Senate, and we all know his beliefs. While I'm sure you recognize the acronym RINO, are you familiar with the SIIC-O terminology? Try it, you'll like it.

UB

I don't play silly name games. (Sicco??) Used to be republican, not anymore. I formulate my own opinions based on information available to me. As for tort reform progress under the last administration, huff and puff until you turn blue if you like, I prefer to let the facts speak for themselves.

Gerry Clinchy
10-26-2009, 11:29 PM
AP gives a pretty concise summary of the issues:

e Associated Press

9:40 a.m. EDT, October 26, 2009

A look at key issues in the health care debate:

THE ISSUE: If I like the coverage I have, would I really be able to keep it if Washington (http://www.mcall.com/topic/us/washington-PLGEO100104900000000.topic) changes the health care system?

THE POLITICS: One of the underlying fears in the debate is that people with good insurance now will see changes they don't like in a new marketplace. Perhaps their plan would become even more expensive, or offer fewer benefits, or their employer would drop coverage in favor of other options for workers. President Barack Obama (http://www.mcall.com/topic/politics/government/barack-obama-PEPLT007408.topic) and his allies must convince Americans that the proposed gains for the uninsured and the underinsured won't unravel a system that protects most people most of the time. Obama argues the changes will bring down costs for those who already have insurance, and he promises that if you're happy with your coverage now, nothing will require you to change it.

WHAT IT MEANS: Obama and fellow Democrats (http://www.mcall.com/topic/politics/parties-movements/democratic-party-ORGOV0000005.topic) favor requirements to make most people buy insurance, and subsidies and rules to make that happen, but it's beyond the government's ability to guarantee plans would stay the same for everyone who wants that. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office looked at the health care bill written by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it and have to get coverage themselves. In return, that plan and others in Congress would vastly reduce the ranks of the uninsured. Even so, the bills under consideration propose some steps to protect the status quo for those who want to keep what they have. Legislation contains "firewalls" to prevent employees under certain workplace plans from undermining them by bolting to other options in the marketplace. But even under a reshaped system the government would have limited ability to prevent employers, who cover the majority of Americans under 65, from changing the kind of health plans they offer — and new taxes and requirements in the system might prompt some employers to do so.

— Cal Woodward

ErinsEdge
10-27-2009, 09:44 AM
What to look forward to in the unrevealed health bills that no one can read. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

Gerry Clinchy
10-29-2009, 11:38 AM
NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/health/policy/29health.html?th&emc=th

This article talks about some of the modifications to original proposals. Some interesting stuff here:



The new House bill would also impose annual fees on manufacturers of medical devices like heart pacemakers and artificial hips. The fees — in effect, excise taxes — would total $20 billion over 10 years.

House Democrats borrowed this idea from the Senate. Under a bill approved this month by the Senate Finance Committee, the government would try to collect $40 billion in fees over 10 years from makers of medical devices.

I understand an "excise" tax on young, healthy people who do not purchase insurance. They have the $, but are choosing to spend it elsewhere & later become a taxpayer liability if they get sick.

I can also understand an excise tax on high-end health care policies. Again, the holders of such policies have excess funds to purchase more expensive coverage than most. However, I don't think buying a pacemaker is exactly an "optional" purchase! It makes sense that the "tax" will be passed onto the consumer, irrespective of their availability of "disposable" income.


This change saves money. It is less expensive for the federal government to cover low-income people under Medicaid than to provide them with subsidies to buy private insurance.

It's cheaper to give it away for free than provide subsidies? Hmm ... could this turn out to be the case for a major overhaul that would include a public option as well? Does this make a case for the premise that a public option will gradually lead to private insurors leaving the health care insurance marketplace?


The cost would be offset by new taxes and by cutbacks in Medicare (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/medicare/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), so the bill would not increase the federal budget (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/f/federal_budget_us/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) deficit in the next 10 years or in the decade after that.

To put this in dollars and cents on a personal level. A friend on Medicare (85 years young!) She told me, "I've just figured that even if not one new prescription is added to what I currently take, with the cost of the new co-payments, increase in premiums for RXs and Part B Social Security, I will paying out an additional $763 (this according to the 2010 info received from my RX coverage provider and Social Security itself) in 2010!

And we don't receive a Cola because there has been no increase in cost of living???????? That doesn't [take into account the] increase [in] the cost of rent caused by the the 30% rise in cost of electricity recently granted effective January first!"

I thought there would be no new taxes on lower-income individuals? I suppose that one could justify that these cost increases for this elderly lady are not really tax increases ... but rather increases in the cost of health care. Still works out to $763 more that this lady pays out each year. If more $ is taken from Medicare, are we taking money out of the pockets of the elderly to cover the costs of the uninsured?

The latest point being made by some is that there are currently a few million uninsured people who would qualify for Medicaid but simply don't apply because of the red tape involved in doing so!

Gerry Clinchy
10-30-2009, 07:49 PM
Washington [AP]


Obama privately told House liberals they should chalk up a win.

Leaders from the Progressive, Black, Hispanic and Asian-Pacific American caucuses met at the White House (http://www.mcall.com/topic/politics/government/executive-branch/the-white-house-PLCUL000110.topic) Thursday evening with Obama, who listened to their concerns and praised their efforts.

"He looked at us and he said, 'You guys ought to be walking around like you won because you brought back the public option,'" said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif. He was referring to the fact that prospects for any kind of government-run option looked grim after August's angry town halls.



House floor debate could begin late next week on the sweeping bill that extends coverage to 96 percent of Americans, imposes new requirements on individuals and employers to get insurance and provides subsidies for lower-income people.



In one bit of sobering news, the Congressional Budget Office (http://www.mcall.com/topic/economy-business-finance/congressional-budget-office-ORGOV000034163.topic) estimated that only about 6 million people would sign up and that premiums for the government plan could be higher than for private coverage. (I'll say that would be sobering news!! I thought this was all about making health care insurance more affordable?) The CBO says sicker people with higher costs probably would be attracted to the government plan. By comparison, 162 million people would remain covered through employer plans.

Uh? What about the 47 million uninsured? We're spending all this money to cover just 6 million of the 47? That's only about 12.5% of the total. How much would it really cost if we got all of them covered? 8 X 1.055 trillion?


There are still concerns from moderates over the bill's cost — $1.055 trillion over 10 years — and long-term spending implications,

Did you notice here how the cost seems to be "creeping" upward?


Sen. Harry Reid (http://www.mcall.com/topic/politics/harry-reid-PEPLT005460.topic), D-Nev., said earlier this week that the Senate bill would have a new federal insurance plan with negotiated payment rates. Unlike the House bill, though, states could opt out of the plan.

If this is supposed to be such a terrific solution, why would states want to opt out? :-) Oh, I see, maybe it's not a real good idea after all. Why didn't I think of that?

Gerry Clinchy
11-06-2009, 02:13 PM
ALEXANDRIA, Va. Clearly something must be up with AARP.

Why else would the nation's largest lobbying organization, sworn to protect the interests of senior citizens, watch silently as Congress plans to cut Medicare (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/health/government-health-care/medicare-HEPRG00002.topic) spending by $400 billion to pay for its health reform legislation? Could it be that the interests of seniors and AARP are not exactly aligned?

Let's follow the money. AARP takes in more than half of its $1.1 billion budget in royalty fees from health insurers and other vendors that market services with the organization's name. Medicare supplementary policies, called "Medigap" plans, make up the biggest share of this royalty revenue.

AARP has an interest in selling more, not fewer, Medigap plans, of course. But there is a competitor on the block.

A growing number of seniors are enrolling in a new form of Medicare coverage Medicare Advantage where they don't need Medigap.

Medicare Advantage was created in 2003 to give seniors the option of joining private plans that are paid up to 12 percent more to provide better health benefits than traditional Medicare.

These private plans compete with each other by offering seniors such services as lower premiums, better drug coverage, dental care and eyeglasses, and more comprehensive coverage for major medical expenses. Nearly 11 million of Medicare's 45-million beneficiaries are in the program.

Congress' health reform bills would cut spending for Medicare Advantage by at least $150 billion. President Obama (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/politics/government/barack-obama-PEPLT007408.topic) has singled out Medicare Advantage, saying it is a give-away to private insurance companies. But virtually all of the extra money goes back to seniors in the form of better benefits, so it's seniors who have the most to lose.

A Washington Post (http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/arts-culture/mass-media/newspapers/the-washington-post-ORCRP016752.topic) front-page story on Oct. 27 questioned whether AARP has a conflict of interest in appearing to represent seniors while watching Congress cut Medicare.

"Democratic proposals to slash reimbursements for ... Medicare Advantage are widely expected to drive up demand for private Medigap policies like the ones offered by AARP, according to health-care experts, legislative aides and documents," the Post reported.

Medigap plans are a cash cow for AARP. And if people don't need them because they can enroll in Medicare Advantage plans, that's a revenue loss for AARP.

While the organization has some partnering arrangements with Medicare Advantage plans, they provide a fraction of the revenues to the organization that Medigap does.

Second, if Medicare's benefits are cut by $400 billion or more, seniors will have an ever greater need for Medigap coverage.

"There's an inherent conflict of interest," former AARP executive Marilyn Moon says of AARP's royalty arrangements. "They're ending up becoming very dependent on sources of income."

Tens of thousands of seniors have resigned from AARP, many of them cutting up their membership cards to protest the organization's promotion of health reform.

The new chief executive officer of AARP, Barry Rand, who was a strong supporter of President Obama during last year's presidential campaign, says AARP is not protesting the Medicare cuts because reducing waste and fraud in Medicare will make the program stronger over the long term.

Medicare is in dire need of modernization to make it more efficient, but savings should go back in to making it more solvent. But instead of contributing any savings to the $38 trillion in long-term debt the program is facing, the bills before Congress would use Medicare funds to expand health insurance coverage to working Americans.

While expanding coverage also is a worthy goal, if AARP were representing its members well, it would argue that the money should come from other sources.

It's no wonder seniors are upset. Clearly, the interests of AARP and the 40 million seniors it purports to represent are not aligned in the health reform debate.



ABOUT THE WRITER

Grace-Marie Turner is president and founder of the Galen Institute, which is funded in part by the pharmaceutical and medical industries. Readers may write to her at Galen Institute, 128 South Royal Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314; Web site: www.galen.org (http://www.galen.org/); e-mail: GraceMarie@galen.org (GraceMarie@galen.org). For information about Galen's funding, please go to www.galen.org/content/join.html (http://www.galen.org/content/join.html).

This essay is available to McClatchy-Tribune News Service subscribers. McClatchy-Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editors.



Enlighten as to why AARP would be in favor of the health reform on the table.

Gerry Clinchy
11-07-2009, 11:28 AM
From the Wall Street Journal ... some of this doesn't seem to fit "If you like the plan you have now, you can keep it. Period."



NOVEMBER 6, 2009, 9:58 P.M. ET
What the Pelosi Health-Care Bill Really Says
Here are some important passages in the 2,000 page legislation.

By BETSY MCCAUGHEY (http://online.wsj.com/search/search_center.html?KEYWORDS=BETSY+MCCAUGHEY&ARTICLESEARCHQUERY_PARSER=bylineAND)

The health bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing to a vote (H.R. 3962) is 1,990 pages. Here are some of the details you need to know.


What the government will require you to do:
• Sec. 202 (p. 91-92) of the bill requires you to enroll in a "qualified plan." If you get your insurance at work, your employer will have a "grace period" to switch you to a "qualified plan," meaning a plan designed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If you buy your own insurance, there's no grace period. You'll have to enroll in a qualified plan as soon as any term in your contract changes, such as the co-pay, deductible or benefit.


• Sec. 224 (p. 118) provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a "qualified plan" covers and how much you'll be legally required to pay for it. That's like a banker telling you to sign the loan agreement now, then filling in the interest rate and repayment terms 18 months later.


On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.


• Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) makes it clear that, although the "qualified plan" is not yet designed, it will be of the "one size fits all" variety. The bill claims to offer choice—basic, enhanced and premium levels—but the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying for it or you and your employer are footing the bill.


• Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement. (That's interesting.)

• Sec. 412 (p. 272) says that employers must provide a "qualified plan" for their employees and pay 72.5% of the cost, and a smaller share of family coverage, or incur an 8% payroll tax. Small businesses, with payrolls from $500,000 to $750,000, are fined less.


Eviscerating Medicare:
In addition to reducing future Medicare funding by an estimated $500 billion, the bill fundamentally changes how Medicare pays doctors and hospitals, permitting the government to dictate treatment decisions.

• Sec. 1302 (pp. 672-692) moves Medicare from a fee-for-service payment system, in which patients choose which doctors to see and doctors are paid for each service they provide, toward what's called a "medical home."


The medical home is this decade's version of HMO-restrictions on care. A primary-care provider manages access to costly specialists and diagnostic tests for a flat monthly fee. The bill specifies that patients may have to settle for a nurse practitioner rather than a physician as the primary-care provider. Medical homes begin with demonstration projects, but the HHS secretary is authorized to "disseminate this approach rapidly on a national basis."

A December 2008 Congressional Budget Office report noted that "medical homes" were likely to resemble the unpopular gatekeepers of 20 years ago if cost control was a priority.

• Sec. 1114 (pp. 391-393) replaces physicians with physician assistants in overseeing care for hospice patients. (Guess they agree that there will be a shortage of physicians to service all these mandated services._

• Secs. 1158-1160 (pp. 499-520) initiates programs to reduce payments for patient care to what it costs in the lowest cost regions of the country. This will reduce payments for care (and by implication the standard of care) for hospital patients in higher cost areas such as New York and Florida.

• Sec. 1161 (pp. 520-545) cuts payments to Medicare Advantage plans (used by 20% of seniors). Advantage plans have warned this will result in reductions in optional benefits such as vision and dental care.

• Sec. 1402 (p. 756) says that the results of comparative effectiveness research conducted by the government will be delivered to doctors electronically to guide their use of "medical items and services."

Questionable Priorities:
While the bill will slash Medicare funding, it will also direct billions of dollars to numerous inner-city social work and diversity programs with vague standards of accountability.

• Sec. 399V (p. 1422) provides for grants to community "entities" with no required qualifications except having "documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers" to "educate, guide, and provide experiential learning opportunities" aimed at drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity. "Each community health worker program receiving funds under the grant will provide services in the cultural context most appropriate for the individual served by the program."

These programs will "enhance the capacity of individuals to utilize health services and health related social services under Federal, State and local programs by assisting individuals in establishing eligibility . . . and in receiving services and other benefits" including transportation and translation services. (Hope this also means that if we speak English we get to have medical personnel who also speak English!)

• Sec. 222 (p. 617) provides reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services. This program will train health-care workers to inform Medicare beneficiaries of their "right" to have an interpreter at all times and with no co-pays for language services.

• Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs. For example, grants for nursing schools should "give preference to programs that provide for improving the diversity of new nurse graduates to reflect changes in the demographics of the patient population." And secondary-school grants should go to schools "graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds including racial and ethnic minorities."

• Sec. 305 (p. 189) Provides for automatic Medicaid enrollment of newborns who do not otherwise have insurance.

For the text of the bill with page numbers, see www.defendyourhealthcare.us. (http://www.defendyourhealthcare.us.)
Ms. McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former Lt. Governor of New York state.

LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704795604574519671055918380.html

Gerry Clinchy
11-07-2009, 11:46 AM
Forgot to add ... if these assessments of the WSJ are accurate ... then absolutely our Federal representatives, our state representatives, every employee of our governments right on down the line, and every union should have exactly the same plan as everyone else! The money saved on these otherwise "exempt" individuals will help offset the new costs.

Gerry Clinchy
11-07-2009, 03:54 PM
Joint Commission on Taxation Confirms Failure to Comply with Democrats’ Mandate Can Lead to 5 Years in Jail!
Section 501 (pg. 296) of H.R. 3962 (download bill (http://aapsonline.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=30a32513ae04f5445c95f3239&id=9d384464e1&e=372b203bfa)) provides for "a tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage."
Existing IRS code details the penalties, and possible criminal charges for not paying this new tax.
http://republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=153583 (http://aapsonline.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=30a32513ae04f5445c95f3239&id=ecdbfd337c&e=372b203bfa)


Actually, if you take the jail time, the health care is free :-)

Uncle Bill
11-07-2009, 05:34 PM
This might be the 'best' solution. UB


While discussing the upcoming Universal Health Care Program law the other day, I think we have found the solution. I am sure you have heard the ideas that if you are a senior you need to suck it up and give up the idea that you need any health care. A new hip? Unheard of. We simply can't afford to take care of you anymore. You don't need any medications for your high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, etc. Let's take care of the young people. After all, they will be ruling the world very soon.

So here is the solution. When you turn 70, you get a gun and four bullets. You are allowed to shoot two senators and two representatives. Of course, you will be sent to prison where you will get three meals a day, a roof over your head and all the health care you need! New teeth, great! Need glasses, no problem. New hip, knee, kidney, heart? Well, bring it on. And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you that you are too old for health care. And, since you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income tax.

Gerry Clinchy
11-07-2009, 05:55 PM
• Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement. (That's interesting.)

As I understand it, the present bill does not prevent illegals from purchasing health insurance ... but it does seem to exempt them from any fines for not having it.

So, as far as I can see, the illegals will still not be covered; not be deported; and continue to cost our health service providers hundreds of milliions of dollars providing free care.

YardleyLabs
11-07-2009, 07:26 PM
As I understand it, the present bill does not prevent illegals from purchasing health insurance ... but it does seem to exempt them from any fines for not having it.

So, as far as I can see, the illegals will still not be covered; not be deported; and continue to cost our health service providers hundreds of milliions of dollars providing free care.
The bill prevents them from receiving any form of federal subsidy for purchasing insurance. There has been a move to prevent them from having insurance even if they buy it personally. This would have an iteresting impact given that many now have insurance through personal purchase or through employment. If passed, such an exclusion would increase the cost of unreimbursed care.

Gerry Clinchy
11-07-2009, 09:06 PM
I understand about not getting any subsidies for purchase of health insurance. However, if they do not purchase it they are exempted from having to provide proof of insurance ... if they file a tax return. Of course, many may not file Federal (or any other) tax returns :-)

If they're here, even illegally, they should be subject to the same requirements as citizens ... or send them home.

As mentioned by the Florida hospital manager, even when INS is notified of the presence of an illegal, INS doesn't do anything. Perhaps another few hundred million could be saved on health care by giving some of that unused TARP funding to INS?

Bob Gutermuth
11-08-2009, 09:58 AM
The liberties we enjoy as Americans are being sold down the river to socialism by Osama and his cronies.

Gerry Clinchy
11-17-2009, 08:27 AM
NY Times yesterday
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/16/business/16drugprices.html?_r=1&th&emc=th


But Ms. Arnold, Professor Schondelmeyer and a 2007 Congressional study of Medicare said the rebates often accrue to the middlemen, not consumers, and higher manufacturer prices lead to higher retail prices.
And the drug industry’s own major consulting firm, IMS Health (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/ims_health_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), has also reported a significant run-up in prices. Back in April, IMS predicted (http://www.imshealth.com/portal/site/imshealth/menuitem.a46c6d4df3db4b3d88f611019418c22a/?vgnextoid=1e61fa8adbec0210VgnVCM100000ed152ca2RCR D) that United States drug sales might actually decline this year.
Billy Tauzin (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/billy_tauzin/index.html?inline=nyt-per), president of the industry’s trade association, highlighted the gloomy prediction in a June 1 letter to President Obama (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/31/stakeholders-to-obama.pdf) shortly before striking the deal to cut drug costs by $80 billion. In negotiating the deal, the drug makers argued that they could not afford to give up more than that.
But in October, IMS made an unusual change (http://www.imshealth.com/portal/site/imshealth/menuitem.a46c6d4df3db4b3d88f611019418c22a/?vgnextoid=500e8fabedf24210VgnVCM100000ed152ca2RCR D&cpsextcurrchannel=1) in the middle of its forecasting cycle, saying it now believed United States sales would grow at least 4.5 percent in 2009 — or $21 billion more than expected six months earlier.
A major reason, IMS said, was higher-than-expected price increases for drugs in the United States.


I would expect O's advisors to keep track of this stuff; not to mention the Budget Office that is supposed to evaluate the new legislation for cost impact.

Would appear that when O cut his deal with the pharma industry, he was not aware of the impending price increase. One might have thought that such an item would have come up in the discussion, huh?

The thing that occurred to me is that the govt is becoming ever more involved in regulating the price of everything ... one way or the other.

Health reform, if it establishes a govt option, will effectively be saying that "this" is the price for "x" coverage. Obviously, any health insuror that does not meet that price will not get customers. So, at best, the health insurors will make their $ by offering plans that exceed the govt-mandated "basic" coverage. Same as they do with Medicare supplements.

The govt would then have dictated the price, whether it is a market-sustainable price or not. If it is not sustainable, they simply go back to the taxpayers to fill the gap. Amtrak comes to mind. Meanwhile, the artificially low price (shored up by taxpayer subsidy) might lead us to believe that the private insurors are charging more than they need to charge to break even, or make a reasonable profit.

No, that doesn't absolve the insurors who hide loopholes in fine print. However, there are insurors who actually do what they purport to do in their policies. Wouldn't be the first time that laws designed to catch "bad guys" also ends up hurting "good guys".

Now, it would also appear that govt is also instrumental in creating an artificial pricing system for meds. Any guess that doctors and hospitals will also raise prices before this new legislation actually becomes law?

They're just taking a page out of the book of the credit card companies who are making very sure to install their usurous rates, fees and charges now before new regulation goes into effect in February.

Yup, the govt does s-u-c-h a good job of making the free-market system so much better ... seems like a shell game to me.

Seems to me that it might be cheaper just to provide a govt subsidy to those who cannot get insurance due to pre-existing conditions than it is to spend hundreds of billions to re-vamp everybody else's marketplace. Seems like the Fed could just make it a Medicaid grant to the states (who administer Medicaid). Then they could concentrate on fixing the fraud and abuse in the existing programs.

WaterDogRem
11-19-2009, 01:12 AM
Appears the feds are trying to setup rationing already. Decisions made by a fed task force with no experts and based solely on money.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/feds_in_mammo_shock_wgic9j5IvB8dUo3tFTB5gN
Is this the type of healthcare reform you're going to support?

Gerry Clinchy
11-21-2009, 05:36 PM
This is really kind of weird ... when you read both articles

First, in the NY Times today there is a story about the closing of the dialysis unit in Atlanta, GA that leaves many illegals in life-death limbo
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/health/policy/21grady.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1&th&emc=th

A quote from one of these patients:

“No place in Mexico would have offered dialysis for free,” he said, sitting in the spare apartment he shares with his girlfriend and their 13-year-old son. “It was better to be here. I am really grateful that this is possible in this country, because if I were in my country I would already have died”

But in August, 2009, USA Today ran this article on health care in Mexico
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-08-31-mexico-health-care_N.htm

The IMSS system is similar to an HMO in the United States, Jemmy Miller said. Patients are assigned a primary care physician and given a passport-size ID booklet that includes records of appointments. The doctor can refer patients to specialists, a bigger hospital or one of the IMSS specialty hospitals in cities such as Guadalajara or Mexico City.


The fee for the IMMs program is $250/year! Americans are retiring there for the cheap health insurance!


In 2007, Ron Miller got appendicitis and had emergency surgery at the local IMSS hospital. He was in the hospital for about a week and had a double room to himself. The food was good, the nurses were attentive, and doctors stopped by three or four times a day to check on him, he said. At the end of it all, there was no bill, just an entry in the ID booklet.

The Millers may soon move back to the United States, but Jemmy Miller said they want to try to maintain the IMSS coverage. "If something big really comes up, we'd probably come back to Mexico," she said.

So, illegals stay here for their dialysis when they can find a way to do so, since it is totally free for them ... in Mexico it would cost them $250/year. Here it costs us $50,000 a year, but it is paid for by US citizens (in various ways). This GA hospital had about 20 illegals as dialysis patients consistently at any point in time ($50,000 X 20 = $1,000,000) ... and they could have gotten the same care in Mexico with Mexican citizens paying the bill.

According to the USA Today article, there is also private care in Mexico that you can pay for privately, that is supposedly world-class.

Mexico fears too many retirees flooding their system, since then it would become unsustainable. Tell me about it!