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Thread: Free Health Care!!

  1. #11
    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmylabs23139 View Post
    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.
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  2. #12
    Member txbadger's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    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.

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  4. #14
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post
    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.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    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 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 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 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
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  6. #16
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    What to look forward to in the unrevealed health bills that no one can read. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    NY Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/he...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, so the bill would not increase the federal budget 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!
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    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 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 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, 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?
    Last edited by Gerry Clinchy; 10-30-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    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 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 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 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; e-mail: GraceMarie@galen.org. For information about Galen's funding, please go to 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.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    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

    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.
    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/SB1000...055918380.html
    Last edited by Gerry Clinchy; 11-07-2009 at 10:39 AM.
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