Barbour Defends Town Hall Confrontations | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Barbour Defends Town Hall Confrontations

The recent spate of rowdy behavior at health-care town-hall meetings is because Americans don't understand the Obama administration's plan, Gov. Haley Barbour told reporters during a conference call Monday organized by the Republican Governors Association.

"The American people realize that this is too much too fast and too many trillions of dollars," Barbour said. "The Obamas took six months to pick a dog, how come they had to pass this health care bill before the August recess?"

"People do not understand why this is being crammed down their throat without getting their questions answered," Barbour added.

But while Republicans are generally applauding the noisy protestations as citizens right to protest, Democrats say the disruptions are ending any chance of meaningful dialog about the ailing American health-care system, turning the meetings into knock-down, drag-out shout fests.

"Right Principles," a memo authored by a conservative Connecticut group has surfaced on the Internet, outlining how to disrupt and corner politicians during meetings.

"The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington," the memo reads under the "Inside the Hall," subhead. "If he blames Bush for something or offers other excuses — call him on it, yell back and have someone else's follow-up with a shout-out.

Media Matters has also accused Fox News of promoting anti-health reform disruptions.

"Protests that are being touted by Republican leaders and supported by conservative groups," the site says in a research piece on how Fox News is covering the town hall meetings.

Another progressive group, ThinkProgress is reported on a town-hall meeting in Towson, Md.

"The town hall protest was a hotbed for right-wing myths," ThinkProgress reports. "We overheard at least one person yelling out, "Obama's not even a citizen!" On health care, ThinkProgress spoke with several people who believed that Sarah Palin was right to warn about President Obama's "death panels" and a government system would allow people to die while waiting for care."

Previous Comments

ID
150737
Comment

And will he defend these confrontations if anyone is hurt or killed as a result of such lunacy? Does Barbour endorse hanging effigies of congressmen, like one man did outside his house in Maryland?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-11T09:45:25-06:00
ID
150738
Comment

Why do ignorant, poor/middle-class people think they should give up having decent healthcare so the corps can get richer? I recently read that Stephen Hemsley, the CEO of United Health Care, earns $102,741.68 per hour (not a typo). Can you believe this? $102,741.68 an hour!!! And he wants you to go disrupt town hall meetings to fight against the public option... and people are doing it! $1 out of every $700 United Health Care receives in premiums paid by people who can’t afford to get sick goes right into this guys pocket! I can’t imagine getting people to derail efforts to get themselves healthcare so I could get richer (while they die). It’s unbelievable what these idiots will do and how conservatives can make people fight against their own best interests. Of course Barbour defends it! He loves keeping ignorant Mississippians as ignorant as possible. It's easier to control sheeple than actual thinking people.

Author
Tre
Date
2009-08-11T09:48:03-06:00
ID
150740
Comment

The negative commentary from Haley does not suprise me. He is giving credence to groups of people around the country who are exibiting barbaric, klan-like behavior: The type of behavior that had led to assignations and egregious murders far too often here in MS and Nationally. This constant yelling that President Obama is not a citizen and painting him as Hitler has gone a bit too far. The things these folks need to know should have been "Learned in Kindergarten." Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the wold, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-11T10:05:53-06:00
ID
150741
Comment

Continued: Remember the little seed in the plastic cup> The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup-they all die. So do we. And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and POLITICS and SANE LIVING. Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our NATION and OTHER NATIONS to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old your are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. -Robert Fulghum-

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-11T10:13:04-06:00
ID
150742
Comment

Who are "the Obamas" I wonder. Actually, I don't wonder at all.

Author
blkjazz
Date
2009-08-11T10:13:39-06:00
ID
150743
Comment

“It's easier to control sheep than actual thinking people." I think that is the Southern Democrat motto. I am not taking up for Hailey or any "conservative" in Washington. But true conservative principals give power to the people whether it is a CEO of a giant healthcare company or a factory worker. Without government intervention they can make there own choices. The CEO can chose to start/run a health care company how he sees fit. If the customers of that company receive value for their service they can chose to pay for it no matter how the much the CEO makes. If we had a true free market I could open XYZ health care and advertise that I only make 100,000 a day so use us we are not as greedy as United Health Care. All the problems start when government gets involved. Democrats and Republicans both, they just screw things up. Anything government runs is inefficient and expensive you must admit that, right?

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T10:17:13-06:00
ID
150744
Comment

Nick22 said, "Anything government runs is inefficient and expensive you must admit that, right?" The Governemnt runs Medicare and Medicaid and many of our parent, relatives and friends have exacted some benefits. Mamo and PaPo's stay in the nursing home. Medicare, RIGHT? The Government also runs the Grant Program for Student Aide for college and university programs. I wonder how many people who blog on this site have used Student Aide of any kind? Then there are the programs that are Government run that keep America from looking like some of the Third World Countries. Just asking: Just thinking.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-11T10:31:16-06:00
ID
150746
Comment

Wow, using Medicare and Medicaid as examples of well run government programs? I have a bridge I would like to sell you. All I am saying let’s say the true cost to run Medicaid is a $100. The government spends maybe $500 running it. I think the cost only being inflated 5 fold is generous. So the government takes $250 from me and $250 from you. But wouldn’t we better if some greedy CEO took $100 for himself ran the insurance program for $100 and we only had to pay $100 a piece? Yes this CEO is making a whole lot of money, But we can’t blame someone who is willing to do the work. Profit is not evil is a good motivator for innovation. Profit is what made the US the most powerful nation in the world in 234 short years. Now we can unplug the mechanism that created our economy and be more like Europe. I love Europe I wished I lived there (just can’t afford it) and if you are born in Europe you have little room for advancing up the economic ladder because of socialism. But our country was not founded on that principal, our country was founded by immigrants from all over the world by people who knew they had a chance to make a life for themselves. Not through government handouts but by hard work and Profit is what made them work hard.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T11:02:37-06:00
ID
150747
Comment

Like the Democrats are just sitting back and doing nothing? They're padding the seats and protests as well. Pelosi hasn't been to a speech yet where she hasn't had a friendly group waving signs that support her cause, I'd bet.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-11T11:10:03-06:00
ID
150748
Comment

And guess who we run to when our highways are in shambles? The government! There's lot of things governments do that can be done more efficiently, but there's no doubt that government programs work. Good examples with student aid and Medicare/Medicaid. How many people couldn't otherwise go to college without the G.I. bill, Pell grants, work study programs, etc.? How many people would be burdened with health care costs if Medicare or Medicaid wasn't available? Could retirees retire without Social Security (though even with SS, some can't really afford retirement)? The fact of the matter is that government has the responsibility to take care of its people. That's not to say that government should do everything for you; I'm not for that. We should all take initiative to do something ourselves. But think how much worse things would be without these programs in place. I bet the very things these protesters are whining about, they have benefited from government programs to some degree, even now.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-11T11:38:15-06:00
ID
150749
Comment

Like the Democrats are just sitting back and doing nothing? They're padding the seats and protests as well. No one's saying they haven't protested, but it's clearly not at the level the Republicans have done. By the way, where is the Republican plan on health care reform?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-11T11:41:36-06:00
ID
150750
Comment

My guess is that Republicans disagree with the premise that Health Care is broken. If you've got issues with people not having great health care, reform Medicare/Medicaid. There's no reason to scrap the entire system and force everyone onto a plan which will treat them badly. Health Care will suffer, and you can't pay for it.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-11T11:48:22-06:00
ID
150752
Comment

Golden- I think you are missing Nicks point, he didn't say those programs didn't help people or work, he said they were inefficient. The cost of running those programs is way higher than it should be for the amount of output from them. That's inefficient.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-11T12:01:11-06:00
ID
150755
Comment

Wow, using Medicare and Medicaid as examples of well run government programs? I have a bridge I would like to sell you. Actually, Nick22, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the government's overhead costs for those programs are considerably lower than overhead costs for private insurance providers. There's no reason to scrap the entire system and force everyone onto a plan which will treat them badly. Iron, there you go again with yet another conservative talking point. There is no evidence that any of the reforms being considered will treat Americans "badly." Republicans have been fighting health-care reform tooth and nail for 60 years now. To say that our system isn't broken when nearly 50 million Americans are uninsured and medical expenses are the number one cause behind personal bankruptcies is absurd. Just because it's working for one person doesn't mean it's working for the majority of Americans.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-11T12:42:24-06:00
ID
150756
Comment

baquan I am sorry, but you kind of have me confused on where you want to go or how you see things fit, for the whole country to benefit? I don’t claim to have the answers but I know the less government in out life the better. If we had OUR money back we could spend it how we see fit. “for the whole country to benefit” I think that is where you are missing the boat, That is not the point of our government. It is not there to benefit everyone only to give everyone equal opportunity. When you try to “benefit” everyone you get in this mess we are in. Democrats want to give our money to people who do not deserve so they will get their votes, Republicans give our money to big companies so they can get money back to themselves. They both make me sick. Terms limits would help this, Back in the day you or I would just go up to Washington tell them what is going on in Mississippi and come back and get back to our lives. These career politicians whose only purpose is to get reelected is a major cause of all our problems. Back to the original point of this article. I think it is hilarious that Democrats are upset on how republicans are protesting at these meetings. Their memo to shot out doesn’t sound that bad to me seems like they just want to make sure their representative know how upset they are. Do people forget how Bush was treated? All the jokes and nasty things said about him? I didn’t hear any of ya’ll calling it trifling or calling it civil unrest. That Iraqi guy threw a shoe at our president and I did not see any Democrats getting upset about that. I know it is easy for me to comment because I am just that guy in the middle that complains about everyone and offers no solutions but just take a look at yourself before you start criticizing other people. Both sides are idiots they both do the same thing.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T12:54:37-06:00
ID
150758
Comment

[quote] Iron, there you go again with yet another conservative talking point.[/quote] Uh... I am conservative. What am I supposed to support, liberals? [quote] There is no evidence that any of the reforms being considered will treat Americans "badly."[/quote] Depending on which bill passes, Money/CNN lists five freedoms you'll lose under Government Health Care. From the freedom to choose what's in your own plan to your own Doctor. You won't be allowed to keep your current plan, if you like it. There more I read about the actual plan, not ideological debates, the less I like about Government's foray into Socialism.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-11T13:46:06-06:00
ID
150760
Comment

Well baquan I assure you I am not a republican my social beliefs make most republican cringe. I agree people acting like a fool makes us look bad to the rest of the world but no more than pictures of George Bush as Hitler or any of the other of 1,000 of things people did to degrade him. It is just feels different when people are disrespecting “you guy” it is human nature I guess. Just like JustJess put it, people have guaranteed student loans, federal backed housing loans, medicaid and medicare - but you don't see anyone turning that down!? That doesn’t make it right. Yes huge corporations take millions of dollars average people take government money all the time. The problem is they take $100 from me and give someone else $10 and keep $90. We need a way to cut them out. Just let me give that person $20 directly and we are both better off. Maybe someone smarter than me can figure it out. But the system now is broken and government getting in the health care business and probably like some believe working their way toward socialized medicine is going in the wrong direction. The only way to fix the Health Care system in my opinion is to give the power back to the people. Now the hospital charges you $20 for an aspirin but we don’t care because our insurance is paying for it but they have a deal, they pay x number of % of the bill so they really Pay $5 for the aspirin. Well they charge $20 because they know they only get a certain percentage. Then the guy with no Insurance goes and he has to pay the full $20 that is messed up. But if we both went to the hospital and we were paying our self through something like an HSA and St. D’s charges us $20 for an aspirin we would go somewhere else. After enough people told St. D’s to take a hike they would drop there price. Maybe if we all had HSA’s and the government founded the people who could not afford it to a certain extent it would make things better. It would stop people (my 90 year old grandmother included) from getting unnecessary treatment if we had to pay for it. Or her doctor who will check her in just because she is bored so he gets paid for checking on her during her stay. Just my 2 cents.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T14:08:34-06:00
ID
150761
Comment

My God, Nick22, you are complaining about some Iraki throwing a shoe at your president. Do you realize that your then president killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people (women and children) looking for WMD and with knowing darn well than non existed. Which is worst, a pre-empted strike with bombs and other weapons of war that killed innocent people, destroyed a country and its precious historical treasures, destroyed animals in their zoo leaving many sick and hungry; tore down schools, markets and libraries OR a fine lether shoe being tossed at the head of your president? Who do some of you think you are? You want dignity and respect regardless of what you do; however, you are not willing to give the same thing in return.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-11T14:19:53-06:00
ID
150762
Comment

Jess My God, Nick22, you are complaining about some Iraki throwing a shoe at your president. Do you realize that your then president killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people (women and children) looking for WMD and with knowing darn well than non existed. I wished I live in your world of lolly pops and candy canes. A. He was just as much my president as yours. I did not vote or support George W. Bush. I do not know if he believed there were WMD’s. You are right a lot of people died. Was it really over 200,000? War is awful I hate it. I don’t think innocent people were killed on purpose it is a by product of war. But for 3,000 + years of civilization it has happen and it will happen for 1,000’s of years to come in the future. Not saying that war was just but there were a lot of people hurt under Saddam’s Hussein as well. Which is worst, a pre-empted strike with bombs and other weapons of war that killed innocent people, destroyed a country and its precious historical treasures, destroyed animals in their zoo leaving many sick and hungry; tore down schools, markets and libraries OR a fine lether shoe being tossed at the head of your president? Was it a fine leather shoe? I guess because of my long comments totally unrelated to the original article you did not take the time to read the whole thing. I was comparing the shoe throwing to the people shouting at town hall meetings. Both are stupid. But the “liberals” are bent out of shape for people yelling at these town hall meetings and did not seem so bothered about the shoe throwing. Who do some of you think you are? You want dignity and respect regardless of what you do; however, you are not willing to give the same thing in return. I can not speak for others but treating people with dignity is one of my (some would say few) strong suits. I am happy you are passionate in your beliefs. But just try to be consistent in your logic. If you get mad at one side for acting one way get mad at your own when they do the same.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T14:36:22-06:00
ID
150764
Comment

Good point. If the damn republicans would stop worrying about what people did in their bedroom and Obama’s birth certificate maybe they would have time to communicate with American citizens about the fiscal responsibility the dangers or an ever increasing government. That is why I decided to just start my own country. Baquan you are welcome to join me. Jess you can come too, don’t worry we want let George W. in.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T14:51:56-06:00
ID
150765
Comment

George Bush was THE president, not mine. He didn't make any bones about whom his support was given to or why. George Bush did not WIN the presidency: It was given to him by the Supreme Court. The MOB, similar to the ones that Barbour endorses to destroy President Obama's health-care plan, caused the cease for counting votes. This was a sad day for America and we continue to pay for his gross misdeeds against America and its people. He could not hurt me without hurting you. Only the rich and powerful are suvivors who continue to fight to hold on to their goodies. Nick22, you said, "I wish I lived in your world of lolly pops and candy canes." Nick, "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair." -Langston Hughes

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-11T15:03:30-06:00
ID
150768
Comment

Justless- Iraq Body Count says there are just over 100,000 documented civilian deaths in Iraq since 2003 from all causes, the U.S.Armed Forces have not killed hundreds of thousand of civilians.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-11T15:29:46-06:00
ID
150769
Comment

"if you are born in Europe you have little room for advancing up the economic ladder because of socialism." Nick22, FYI: 9 of the 20 wealthiest people in the WORLD live in Europe, 7 of whom were born there. only 5 are American. wow, that European socialism is really stifling wealth and entreprenuership. Here is a link to a 2004 fox news article (of all places!) that talks about a survey in 2004 that showed these socialist medicine countries have better patient satisfaction than Americans, with *gasp* shorter wait times! http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,136990,00.html Ironghost, news flash: you already don't have the freedom to choose your own doctor under private insurance. you actually get to choose from a LIST of doctors who accept that insurance, so if for some reason my doctor is unavailable, i can't go to anyone i choose, i have to go to one in the insurer's network. i really don't see the problem with a public option. if it's terrible, no one will opt into it, plus the gov't will give most people a subsidy to choose an alternate private plan of their liking. it's like school vouchers. if i'm happy with my public school, i get to go for 'free' (acutally, i'm funding it through taxes, but hey). if i'm not happy, i can go to a private school and the gov't will help pay for it. so, if you're against a public option, you MUST also be against school vouchers since it's the same concept (which makes a lot of Dems hypocrites, btw). the fear really is that people might actually LIKE the public option...

Author
eyerah
Date
2009-08-11T15:52:49-06:00
ID
150770
Comment

BubbaT, Thanks for your numerical exactness; however, one dead person is too many for the illegal was we went into with Iraq. The number is severely under-represented as was the deaths of American soldiers. We can not make the War with Iraq RIGHT. An argument over the number killed will only add to the humilitation, pain and suffering felt by those who lost love ones: Those whose country should not have been destroyed.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-08-11T16:09:20-06:00
ID
150773
Comment

Nick22, FYI: 9 of the 20 wealthiest people in the WORLD live in Europe, 7 of whom were born there. FYI eyerah to lazy to look them all up I am sure some did start out rich unlike Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Sam Walton. But that is not the point. It is the everyday man. That is only a few you have to give opportunity for the middle class. What made America special is we had the small town Baker, Shop Owner and car mechanics that could make a good living for his family. We have already lost so many to major chains and high taxes. Trust me doing business in America is getting ridiculous with all the taxes we pay. All these social plans have to be paid for by someone and you can’t keep going back to these “rich” people who are trying to run there own business. You will kill them off and we will all be working at Wal-Mart. Now, America is still the best country to start with nothing and make something of yourself. But if you institute all these grandiose plans and raise taxes to do it you kill what makes us America. Wow, that European socialism is really stifling wealth and entrepreneurship. You honestly don’t believe socialism fosters wealth and entrepreneurship do you? I am sure you are just trying to be funny. I don’t think even Karl Marx claimed that. That is fine if you are a socialist and if that is what America wants I guess we will get it. I will be OK I am practicing my Chinese.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-11T16:38:54-06:00
ID
150782
Comment

It is embarassing when the top elected official for the state makes ignorant comments such as Barbour often does. His ideology about how things should be only reflect the Haley Barbour I remember from the sixties. He has tried to hide his former image but it always seems to seep out. No real effort to resolve the issue of helathcare has been taken in the past but now he wants to suddenly have the answers. That's a bunch of bull. Its the American way to speak your mind, but its also the American way to come together as one and be the best through tough times. The "Guv" sholud step back and allow someone else to bring forth good dialogue and not continue to toot his own horn as if he is the voice of ALL the people. Barbour reminds me of the old saying "Its better to be thought of as an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

Author
rufus
Date
2009-08-12T05:34:55-06:00
ID
150784
Comment

[quote]How come on of the angry mobsters don't make the same suggestion? May be it might take off with a bit of civility [/quote] Civil discussion is not their objective. Opposing Obama on EVERYTHING is.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-12T08:15:26-06:00
ID
150788
Comment

I have my doubts about a rushed through government plan for healthcare, but can it be any worse than what we have now? Do you know that Blue Cross Blue Shield has a set percentage of claims that it will reject over a given period of time, regardless of the situation? There are hundreds of loopholes in the system that are all in favor of the company - not the patient/client. It doesn't matter the circumstances, it's all based on the almighty dollar, and they along with the other large insurance providers are happily rolling in the dough. I'm 26 and married - my wife and I would like to have kids, but we can't afford it. The cheapest maternity insurance we found was over $600/month... Not only that, BUT you have to pay for the coverage for 12 months before you can become pregnant! So, basically, in order for us to have a baby, we have to make a down payment to the insurance "provider" of at least $7,200. In what practical world does that make sense? I do think that the existing healthcare industry needs reform, but I also know that it can not happen overnight. There are many variables that surround this issue that have not even been covered yet, and in order for a long term solution to evolve, an extensive in-depth approach should be considered. I'm not disappointed with the medical service here in the US, but I am very disappointed with the healthcare insurance industry - in every almost every aspect.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-12T11:24:03-06:00
ID
150789
Comment

Never heard that about Blue Cross Blue Shield, I have never had a problem with them, when my COBRA ran out and I had to get insurance they were the only company that offered to waived all pre-existing clauses,no down payments, paid 100% of my stem cell transplant within 2 weeks of the poilicy going into effect,pay over $20,000 a month for my prescription drugs,they knew up front they would have to pay for all that and never batted an eye, matter of fact I haven't talked to them in 5 years since I made the first phone call to get insurance. The insurance is high $650 a month just for me , but I would have to say it's worth it. The 12 months waiting period before they will cover pregnancies is pretty much standard for all insurance companies has been for years.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-12T11:50:11-06:00
ID
150790
Comment

Just because it's standard doesn't make it right. That's one of the biggest problems we face today.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-12T11:53:30-06:00
ID
150791
Comment

[quote]My God, Nick22, you are complaining about some Iraki throwing a shoe at your president. Do you realize that your then president killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people (women and children) looking for WMD and with knowing darn well than non existed.[/quote]While reading that, I was reminded of having read Rep. Ron Paul saying that he (if he were President) would fund improvements in our health care model by bringing our military home. I can't say that I completely disagree with that. When you consider what that misadventure in Iraq cost or the ongoing cost of being the world's superpolice, you realize how much could really be done at home by just shifting priorities.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-12T12:00:37-06:00
ID
150793
Comment

Chip- It's not a question of right or wrong, it's to stop people who don't have maternity insurance running out to get insurance after they find out they are pregnant.I agree 12 months is a little extreme, 6 months would be enough to stop people who try to do that. It's kinda like getting collision insurance after you have a wreck and trying to get your car fix.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-12T12:56:05-06:00
ID
150794
Comment

It's certainly a point to consider, Jeff. Conservatives have no credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility. The 10-year cost of the House health care bill comes to about $1 trillion. The 10-year cost of the "Global War on Terror" will run at least as high. (It's already more than $900 billion dollars.) Conservatives did not complain about government spending when they borrowed money to pay for a war of choice in Iraq. If we could find the money to kill people on the other side of the world, we should have no trouble finding the money to heal people here at home.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-12T12:58:33-06:00
ID
150795
Comment

Brilliant Logic Brian. We already wasted a trillion let’s just waste another a trillion.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-12T13:01:23-06:00
ID
150796
Comment

Charging people $7,000 to have a baby is un-American, no matter what anyone says. In other advanced democracies, parents are able to focus on having a healthy child, rather than focus on insurance payments. One of the sillier myths spread by conservatives in this debate is that the United States has the best health care system in the world. That's demonstrably false. Just look at our utterly disgraceful rate of infant mortality. (My source is the CIA, for baby's sake.) The U.S. ranks 43rd, behind such countries as Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea, the Czech Republic, and France. Even Cuba beats us. So what are we getting for that $7,000?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-12T13:06:56-06:00
ID
150797
Comment

Bubba - my proposed solution is quite simple in that regard. When you apply for maternity insurance, they should test for pregnancy. If not pregnant, you can get insurance. The most simple solutions are often best.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-12T13:06:57-06:00
ID
150798
Comment

D.C. Republicans aren't fiscal conservatives, despite their rhetoric to the contrary.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-12T13:07:41-06:00
ID
150799
Comment

tell, it, brian! for baby's sake! unAmerican is refusing to see reality due to a blind belief that our way is better. I think it is mostly people who have never traveled outside the US who think this way.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-08-12T13:25:30-06:00
ID
150800
Comment

Nick, unlike the war in Iraq, spending $1 trillion on health care reform would not be wasted money. The CBO reports that it would cover 97 percent of all Americans. It would greatly improve the lives of millions of Americans. We can be sure that no American lives have been improved by the war in Iraq. It just shows the perverse priorities of conservatives. They are happy to cut taxes even as we spend $500 billion a year on our military, which does not include the cost of our wars. But they suddenly recover their principles when Congress proposes to spend only one-fifth that amount, or $100 billion a year, to provide universal health care. It's a crock.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-12T13:28:13-06:00
ID
150801
Comment

Brian- You must have missed LoriG's post on what it cost to have a baby it's more like $25,000 than $7000. Paying the insurance company $7000 for insurance is a bargain compared to paying the hospital $25,000 when you don't have insurance. For $7000 you're getting not have to pay $18000 more for having a baby. What do insurance companies have to do with quailty of healthcare? They don't provide that,hospitals and doctors do, and hospitals and doctors set the prices not insurance companies. I'm not saying insurance couldn't be cheaper and easier to get for everyone,or they don't screw over some people, but insurance companies are in business to make money, not provide health care. Chip- that would be a simple solution and best, but when is anything simple. :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-12T13:34:25-06:00
ID
150802
Comment

One more thing Nick. Your argument about the government running all enterprises inefficiently is not actually an argument. It's a statement of religious faith, and it shows you haven't done your homework on health care costs. Medicare achieves much greater efficiency than private insurance companies do. The CBO has found that about 2 percent of the Medicare budget goes to administrative costs. Private health insurance companies run administrative costs ranging from 10 to 30 percent. They are among the least efficient enterprises ever devised. Private companies spend enormous sums trying to ensure only the healthiest people. They also pay dividends to Wall Street and exorbitant salaries to executives. Medicare has none of these costs. From a broader perspective, the United States spends more than twice as much as other countries do on its health care, but our outcomes lag behind other advanced democracies. You simply have no idea what you're talking about.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-12T13:34:54-06:00
ID
150803
Comment

Ok your right. The government is wonderful, I want more. Do you think they will pick out my dinner tonight? Maybe what I wear tomorrow. Give me more! I hate making my own decision and having to be responsible for myself and my family. Thank you Mr Johnson and Mr. Obama I sure appreciate you taking care of me.

Author
Nick22
Date
2009-08-12T13:51:55-06:00
ID
150804
Comment

According to this study, over $1.2 trillion spent on health care each year is a waste of money: http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/10/news/economy/healthcare_money_wasters/index.htm I have also seen figures showing that obesity causes $200 billion a year in health care spending and smoking causes $192 billion a year in health care spending.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-12T13:52:55-06:00
ID
150805
Comment

We have already lost so many to major chains and high taxes. Trust me doing business in America is getting ridiculous with all the taxes we pay. All these social plans have to be paid for by someone and you can’t keep going back to these “rich” people who are trying to run there own business. You will kill them off and we will all be working at Wal-Mart. Now, America is still the best country to start with nothing and make something of yourself. But if you institute all these grandiose plans and raise taxes to do it you kill what makes us America. Nick22, I think you're a little confused. First, I agree that we've lost lots of local businesses in the U.S. to major chains, but high taxes has very, very little to do with it. To the contrary, major corporations in America are highly incentivized by our tax system. Our system rewards them for moving jobs out of the country, for example, and states (like Mississippi) cut their taxes to bring them in and offer them all kinds of other financial incentives. Who do you think those "rich" people are? They're the owners of Wal-Mart and other mega-corporations that have systematically worked to close down locally owned and operated businesses. So to say we'll all be working at Wal-Mart if we kill off the rich people is a contradiction in terms. (And, btw, no one's talking about "killing" anyone other than the right-wing nut job eliminationists like Limbaugh and Coulter) You've made a number of statements about how America is the best place to start with nothing and make something of yourself, but I'm skeptical of any such over-generalized and unsupported statements. If you have evidence of that, bring it on, otherwise, stop spouting the rhetoric. America has dozens (hundreds) of socialized programs, from public schools to public safety (cops, fire fighting, etc.), many of which have been nearly starved out of existence by conservatives. And Karl Marx, Russia and China aren't socialist: they are (or were) communist. And yes, there is a difference. The free market system isn't this panacea you picture it to be. I have books you can read about why and how it has destroyed competition and has been responsible for millions of deaths if you're interested. We "liberals" aren't upset about shouting. We do it frequently. We do, however, want to have a conversation about health care. People who do nothing but shout down speakers are not having a conversation, and they're not allowing anyone else to have one either. That's a problem.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-12T13:55:04-06:00
ID
150806
Comment

There are no fiscal conservatives in Washington despite any of their rhetoric Jeff. They are all ready to keep spending even though we are running huge budget deficits. So what's another trillion really? I think the system definitely needs reform. I am not sure that what's being proposed is going to solve any of the problems we need solved. I think the reliance on Insurance and the Government to pay is going at the problem all wrong. Most people seem to understand that increased competition will lower costs and that government intervention into the market has raised costs to the levels they are at presently. But there is no way we are going to get the government out of it now. That is a political non starter. I think the only way to achieve what we all want, controlled costs and universal coverage, is to institute a single payer system. Half measures are only going to make the problem worse and will still leave people without coverage. Yea, I am advocating socialized medicine. I would love to be able to get the government out of health care completely. I believe if the people receiving care were the ones paying the bill, it would be true competition and that would drive prices down but it is simply not going to happen in this political climate. We don't seem to care that we can't afford any of the things we are borrowing money to pay for so why not shoot for the moon?

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-12T13:57:51-06:00
ID
150807
Comment

Nick, I hope your health insurance will pay for sedatives or possibly some variety of benzodiazepine. Your non sequiturs do not distinguish you in this debate.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-12T14:05:01-06:00
ID
150808
Comment

What do insurance companies have to do with quailty of healthcare? They don't provide that,hospitals and doctors do, and hospitals and doctors set the prices not insurance companies. Bubba, where have you been? Insurance companies tell doctors how much money they'll receive for procedures. They dictate what kinds of treatment patients can receive based on their coverage (or lack of it). They also reward or punish doctors financially for the numbers of patients they see each day. All of that clearly impacts the quality of treatment a patient can receive.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-12T14:11:52-06:00
ID
150809
Comment

[quote]Insurance companies tell doctors how much money they'll receive for procedures. They dictate what kinds of treatment patients can receive based on their coverage (or lack of it). They also reward or punish doctors financially for the numbers of patients they see each day. All of that clearly impacts the quality of treatment a patient can receive. [/quote] None of which will change under ObamaCare. Same thing, different masters.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-12T14:35:50-06:00
ID
150812
Comment

Ronni- See I look at that totally different. The doctors charge probably 3 times what something is worth, and the insurance companies know that so they will only pay say for 2 times what it worth, so who's fault is it,that the doctors are overcharging or insurance company for not paying prices they know are overpriced. I blame the doctors and hospitals for charging too much, not the insurance companies. I have no complaints with insurance companies, I pay $7500 a year for insurance they payout over $250,000 for my medical bills a year. They are a god send to me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-12T15:13:20-06:00
ID
150813
Comment

Not everyone has $250,000 annual medical bills. On average, I have less than $1000 a year. As for doctors charging 3 times what something is worth and insurance companies paying 2 times what something is worth - how about charging/paying exactly what something is worth? It happens everyday in other industries, so why not in health care?

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-12T15:19:51-06:00
ID
150814
Comment

Chip- That's a very good question. Just take your example for having a baby the doctor comes in when you wife is just about to deliver nurses have been in with her and checking on her not him and catches the baby, slaps it on the butt,cleans it nose, hand to you wife,and then walks out. Is that worth $7000 dollars, I don't think so,do you?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-12T15:28:24-06:00
ID
150815
Comment

Granted, obstetricians provide medical services and oversight during the pregnancy (not just the birth), which is where a lot of the charges stem from - sonograms/ultrasounds, mother's health, baby's health, monthly visits, etc. As for how much it cost to have a baby, the $7000+ is before the pregnancy term so then you're looking at an additional 9 or so months before the baby is born, so tack on another $5400 or so. Maybe the health industry is just showing its support for adoption programs by raising the cost of maternity insurance higher and higher...

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-12T15:41:40-06:00
ID
150816
Comment

My prenatal care was approximately $3500. They "approximated" how much insurance would pay and let me pay that in installments during the pregnancy. They "approximated" my insurance would pay all but around $800. It paid all but around $500. My hospital bill (for mom and baby) rounded out to around $24,000.00 I ended up paying around 1500.00 with two five hundred dollar deductibles and an 80% pay plan. I was lucky. What was interesting to me is that my doctor charges $250.00 for a sonogram....but BCBS only pays $80.00 for one. So, when BCBS denies coverage on a sonogram I still only have to pay $80 since I am on their plan. People without insurance pay the full $250. I do get a better deal just HAVING insurance in the first place and using an approved provider that is in-network. I have no idea the point I was trying to make other than how freaking ridiculous the hospital bill was, what BCBS "negotiates" it down to, and then what I end up paying. Its so damn confusing that I just pay whatever the EOB says that I pay. I think I have no point other than someone said "maternity" and I was like 'Holy crap! something I actually know something about right now!"

Author
Lori G
Date
2009-08-12T15:58:35-06:00
ID
150817
Comment

Lori- I have stuff like that, but I never had BCBS deny anything they pay the lesser amount and the doctors take that and I guess write the rest off,I never get a bill for it. But with your sonogram doesn't that show it was only worth $80 to start with and they are over charging everyone at $250? They get it from the uninsured that can pay it and from insurance companies that will pay it too.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-12T16:08:53-06:00
ID
150818
Comment

That's just a shell game for the Insurance companies BubbaT. No one pays the $250.00 unless they are on some kind of supplemental insurance or using an "out of network" provider. If you are uninsured and pay cash for your treatment I bet you get a better deal than $80.00. Just look at medical procedures that insurance doesn't cover to get the idea. The costs for cosmetic surgery, where there is competition and no kinds of funky price fixing by the government and insurance companies, have been steadily falling. That's medical care and those costs aren't skyrocketing and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-12T16:21:16-06:00
ID
150819
Comment

The government is wonderful, I want more. Whatever, Nick. Brian challenged your assertions with specifically researched arguments and all you can do is be sarcastic. That's about as useful as shouting down speakers in town hall meetings. Most people seem to understand that increased competition will lower costs and that government intervention into the market has raised costs to the levels they are at presently. ... I believe if the people receiving care were the ones paying the bill, it would be true competition and that would drive prices down but it is simply not going to happen in this political climate. WMartin, Where has government intervention in health care raised costs? The insurance and pharmaceutical companies are on a profit binge, raising rates at double the rate of inflation and paying their executives nine figure salaries. I could be wrong, but it sure seems like that might have something to do with increased costs. As to the second point, health insurance, like auto, home and life insurance, supposedly exists to allow people to get care they cannot afford otherwise. I'm not talking about routine doctor visits for the flu (which most people—even those with insurance—already pay for out-of-pocket given insurance deductibles). Insurance companies aren't paying for catastrophic medical costs either for many people, and dropping people if they dare get sick. No one should have to pay for cancer treatments (for example) out of pocket. Insurance should be there to prevent people from having to declare bankruptcy after major illness, and in many cases, it's not. The whole birthin' babies thing is completely out-of-whack, too, IMHO. The entire health industry treats pregnancy as if it's an abnormality that needs to be "cured" instead of a natural part of life. What part of the male anatomy is considered "curable" in the same way women's wombs are? It's all silliness. Women get pregnant. We're designed to do that. Making women pay extra premiums to cover natural functions is a scam.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-12T16:23:55-06:00
ID
150820
Comment

Ronni, so you believe that health insurance companies are pricing themselves out of reach of most people purposefully just for profit? What a fantastic plan! I should try that in my business. I'll just double my rates and make twice as much money. Which will be a help since our company just started offering health insurance benefits and they are crazy expensive. I'll get back to you on how that goes. When does government intervention not raise costs? I agree with you on the purpose of insurance, too bad only you and I seem to see it that way. There have been HSA's with high deductible catastrophic medical insurance policies around for a little while now that work great and the coolest thing about them is when you are healthy and don't spend much at the Doctor you get to keep all the money that you would have paid in premiums. Sadly I don't think they are utilized very much. I am lucky. I have pretty good coverage and don't pay anything for it. Although that is changing soon as costs to the Union plan I am part of continue to rise.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-12T16:54:25-06:00
ID
150821
Comment

@Bubba "But with your sonogram doesn't that show it was only worth $80 to start with and they are over charging everyone at $250? They get it from the uninsured that can pay it and from insurance companies that will pay it too." Bubba the 250 amount for the ultrasound is the standard amount, and the 80 is the discounted amount that particular insurance company pays. The discounted amount will vary from ins. company to ins. company but the reason for the 250 charge is that the discounts are related to the original charge and the doctor keeps those up to keep the discounted charge up. If the doctor charged 80, then the discounted rate would probably be 20 or so. The less the discount rate, the less the likelyhood is that the doctor will participate in the plan. Of course, usually the doctors and the patients are never told what will be paid for what until they sign on the bottom line..

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-08-12T18:32:52-06:00
ID
150822
Comment

Again, one of our parishioners expresses this mystical religious belief that governments are always, in every circumstance, less efficient than private markets. It's obvious that this is untrue. We generally do not privatize our highways because the idea that this would make transportation more efficient is laughable. Privatizing utilities has been a mixed bag at best, and it has certainly not improved efficiency. Medicare and Social Security run with lower administrative costs than any private plan. A pragmatic view based on the evidence suggests that some government programs are preferable to the private market, while others are a mistake. Only doctrinaire right-wingers believe that all government intervention is always everywhere a mistake. The argument that government "price fixing" has caused inflation in health care costs has no basis in actual evidence. In fact, the cost of private insurance has consistently grown more rapidly than the cost of public insurance. And there remains the stubborn fact that the United States pays about twice as much per person for health care than other advanced democracies. Those other advanced democracies have longer life expectancy and higher patient satisfaction. If private markets are always more efficient, why does France spend less money per person on health care but have both better health care outcomes and higher patient satisfaction? I would really like to see a conservative answer this question honestly.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-12T18:42:25-06:00
ID
150832
Comment

There are no fiscal conservatives in Washington despite any of their rhetoric Jeff. They are all ready to keep spending even though we are running huge budget deficits. So what's another trillion really? I agree with you. But perhaps if the GOP hadn't followed such a reckless fiscal policy for the last 8 years we wouldn't be in this current situation, and they might have retained power. That is their "shtick" and they have only themselves to blame for not making good on it.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-13T08:26:56-06:00
ID
150833
Comment

[quote] If private markets are always more efficient, why does France spend less money per person on health care but have both better health care outcomes and higher patient satisfaction?[/quote] Are you serious? What source let you to come to that conclusion? From what I've read their government is actually looking at some of the US's proposals to deal with their struggles with rising costs, unemployment, and elderly populations?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-13T08:34:20-06:00
ID
150836
Comment

The White House has released more information regarding the health care reform proposal: http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/?e=11&ref=hicp http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/?e=11&ref=myth1 http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf?e=11&ref=report

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-13T08:55:31-06:00
ID
150837
Comment

Ronni, so you believe that health insurance companies are pricing themselves out of reach of most people purposefully just for profit? I didn't say that, WMartin, but it does seem to be the end result. As fewer people can afford the rates, the insurance industry keeps raising them. Their rates to employers have gone up disproportionately, rising nearly 120 percent in the past 10 years, according to Kaiser.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-13T09:03:30-06:00
ID
150839
Comment

Re: France vs. U.S. Health Care ... easy to find: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_28/b4042070.htm http://www.denverpost.com/quillen/ci_12902741 http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/3/89

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-13T09:48:04-06:00
ID
150843
Comment

The whole birthin' babies thing is completely out-of-whack, too, IMHO. The entire health industry treats pregnancy as if it's an abnormality that needs to be "cured" instead of a natural part of life. What part of the male anatomy is considered "curable" in the same way women's wombs are? It's all silliness. Women get pregnant. We're designed to do that. Making women pay extra premiums to cover natural functions is a scam. Amen sister! Personally I think the "is it the insurance company or the doctor" argument is sort of like the chicken/egg debate. You are looking at two for-profit entities and trying to pick one to blame for rising costs. It's the interaction of the two that causes it. I'm interested in what people think about the fact that Doctors/hospitals opt out of providing care to Medicaid patients because Medicaid's pay rate is the lowest of all insurances. What BCBS pays for a service is actually much higher than what Medicaid pays and doctor's offices don't want to deal with billing something they see as "not worth their time" when they can get more money for the same service. I really have no stake in this argument as I am woefully uneducated on this debate at this point. But, I understand hospital/insurance companies/doctor's concern with government provided healthcare as it definitely effects their bottom line. They get more money for services from private insurance companies and being forced to honor a government plan that pays a lesser amount for the same services is going to piss them off. Good thing I'm not really concerned with pissing them off. And, I don't really understand why any middle class individual with no personal stake in their profits would be protecting them.

Author
Lori G
Date
2009-08-13T10:49:54-06:00
ID
150845
Comment

I agree Lori. Any increase in health care costs directly affects the ones who pay for it in the beginning - American citizens and employers. Do I want my doctor to be compensated for his/her service? Of course, but it doesn't bother me that he/she will have to settle for a Lexus rather than a Jaguar.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-13T11:04:58-06:00
ID
150847
Comment

Thank you for providing the links to information about the French system, Ronni. We can disagree about what kind of system the United States should have, along with the relative merits of various reforms. But we must grapple first with the facts, which are that other countries consistently spend far less money per patient than we do while achieving far better health care results. Instead of grappling with reality, we have to waste time and energy debating with conservatives who are grossly ignorant of even the most elementary statistics on health care. They blindly repeat their belief that private markets are always, always, always more efficient than government programs, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. Conservatives always act like they've just come down from the mountaintop, where God personally handed them the laws of economics. This kind of stupidity is why we make no progress on public policy questions in this country.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-13T12:28:47-06:00
ID
150849
Comment

If private markets are always more efficient, why does France spend less money per person on health care but have both better health care outcomes and higher patient satisfaction? Brian C Johnson, to try and answer your question as honestly as I can I will have to paraphrase former President Clinton. It depends on what your definition of efficient is. If those are the only criterion for efficiency, I suppose the French system is the top of the heap. Of course that system has been running deficits since 1985 and change is coming as costs do rise there just like they have here even with their price controls. That's not to mention the 20% tax rate on employees gross pay for their social security programs. The 2009 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports show the combined unfunded liability of these two programs has reached nearly $107 trillion in today's dollars! That is about seven times the size of the U.S. economy and 10 times the size of the outstanding national debt. http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba662 Meanwhile, private insurance companies make a profit and cover more people, does sustainability count in your measure of efficiency? So, if you don't include as a factor of efficiency actually being able to pay for benefits the government does a great job. When it comes to any kind of fiscal efficiency they suck. That is not to say reform is not needed in our system, as the costs of the uninsured on the rest of our economy is not sustainable in my opinion. How long do we think we can keep borrowing money to pay for more and more government benefits before the bill comes due and we can't borrow anymore to pay it? That's my question. I, for one, am not opposed to changing our system as I keep saying. There needs to be a real debate about changing it, it should be obvious that the current system doesn't work for too many Americans.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T12:35:42-06:00
ID
150850
Comment

As for social security, there is a simple solution to that as well. Everyone tax paying citizen should have a running balance which can be monitored. When one reaches retirement age, you simply withdraw the amount that you put in. Now how hard is that?

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-13T12:45:03-06:00
ID
150853
Comment

Chip, the only problem with that is that pesky life expectancy keeps going up and inflation erodes pure savings accounts at 3% or more a year. A lot more if some of the more bearish pundits are right about the future of our credit dependent economy.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T12:49:46-06:00
ID
150854
Comment

As inflation rises, so do our taxes though - correct? I would rather inflation erode my savings a little at a time than have the powers-at-be grabbing handfuls without making sure there will be anything left when I actually do retire.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-13T12:53:33-06:00
ID
150855
Comment

I agree with you Baquan, simply shouting down debate with stupidity gets us all nowhere. If Republican's have a better idea I would love to hear it. Simply maintaining the status quo is not an option. I don't understand why they want to be obstructionists just for obstructions sake. There are points to be made by true fiscal conservatives and I, for one, feel like my interests are not being represented at all by either party.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T12:57:26-06:00
ID
150857
Comment

Chip, Fica rates do not rise with inflation as far as I know. Besides most people out live their SS benefits anymore. What would you do? Throw the elderly off the dole and out in the street with nothing once their benefits run out? The politician that proposes that is an endangered species with an extremely short life span.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T13:08:08-06:00
ID
150858
Comment

Will the SS benefits cover all living costs after retirement? Of course not, which is why it's the responsibility of the taxpayer to find a way to increase retirement savings, however that might be. I don't think it makes everything 'ok' just by providing services to those who were screwed over in the first place. If I pay into what is classified as my "retirement" then I expect to get that money back to do what I want with it - not just accept what the government is willing to give me.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-13T13:21:15-06:00
ID
150859
Comment

We have gone a bit off topic Chip so we should probably start a new thread about SS. But to clarify the point I made earlier at 2:08 about out living benefits; what I meant by that was most people today are collecting more than they paid in because they are living so much longer past retirement age. One of the proposals I have heard to make the system more solvent was to raise retirement age so benefits start later. So not only would you recoup all you paid in, under the current system, but you would actually be expected to take more out than you put in.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T13:29:08-06:00
ID
150860
Comment

As inflation rises, so do our taxes though - correct? Um, no. http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-13T13:30:45-06:00
ID
150861
Comment

WMartin, another proposal regarding SS is to raise the earnings ceiling, currently just under $107,000. In other words, any earnings above that amount isn't subject to SS taxes.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-13T13:37:39-06:00
ID
150862
Comment

BTW- wth is a jag-a-fag? LOL

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T13:41:04-06:00
ID
150863
Comment

I had heard that also Ronni. But the other proposal was more relevant to my point about outliving your SS account. I do have a question about that though. Is that a hard limit or is that just the point where you can opt out of the system?

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T13:43:50-06:00
ID
150864
Comment

It's a hard limit as far as I know, WMartin. I think somewhere in the story I linked the author says just raising the ceiling alone would cover SS for the next 75 years. I'd have to read it again to be sure.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-13T13:49:58-06:00
ID
150866
Comment

ahhhhh.... ok then

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-13T14:46:33-06:00
ID
150871
Comment

Misinformation on all sides...whoever is giving Obama his talking points needs to be schooled. http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-doctors-choose-amputation-because-surgeons-get-paid-more-than-physicians/ In this clip Obama says doctors get paid 50K to do an amputation, damn, if that were the case everybody in the country would be missing a limb or 2, think about it! The actual fee is around $750 and while not peanuts includes the unenviable task of having to go in the room and tell the poor patient what has to be done. Nobody pats the surgeon on the back and says "great job! doc!" after their limb is removed. Sadly, I can think of instances now where a patient who was already reluctant to have an amputation even though it was clearly indicated will now be scared to have it done because of fear it is being done so the doctor will be enriching himself. That will be a tragedy when some lose their lives instead of a limb.

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-08-13T19:43:16-06:00
ID
150872
Comment

GLewis, I'm not defending Obama's statement, but I think there's a context that should be put around that one minute clip in what's clearly a much longer conversation/speech. First, his point is that insurance pays for surgery and not preventive care. That's often the case. Try to get them to pay for smoking cessation or weight management for example ... not likely. Second, when you add the cost of a hospital stay, all of the meds, plus anesthesiologists, nurses, etc., etc., etc., the cost of an amputation is no longer $750, it is much closer to $50,000, probably more. I can't imagine any patient is anxious to have a limb amputated under any circumstance, but the projected fear you've expressed is taking that one minute clip to an absurd outcome.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-13T20:28:40-06:00
ID
150873
Comment

WMartin, thank you for your good faith attempt. However, it is ridiculous to claim that Social Security and Medicare face a $107 trillion deficit. The number is a projection based on wildly implausible outcomes. It is a deliberate attempt to distort public understanding in the name of some libertarian jihad. I do not claim that this is your purpose. For one, it combines Social Security with Medicare, which is intellectually dubious. The two programs face quite different prospects, as the report itself acknowledges. Social Security is relatively healthy. According to the CBO, Social Security is actually running at a surplus now. It will break even in 2020. If absolutely nothing is done to change the program, the trust fund will be exhausted by 2053, some 42 years from now. Even after that occurs, Social Security will still pay 78 percent of benefits. What this means is that Social Security is relatively healthy. It needs some reform, but it is not doomed to disappear for younger generations, as conservatives often claim.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-13T21:17:37-06:00
ID
150874
Comment

The reason why your report lumps Medicare in with Social Security is that the outlook for Medicare is more dire, but that has little to do with it being a government program. The problem is that costs throughout the health care industry are out of control. As I wrote above, Medicare has actually stabilized cost to some degree, outperforming private insurance. But the problem is that the entire system is approaching collapse. Private health care premiums doubled in the last decade. The reason why the numbers of uninsured keep rising is that people can't keep up with runaway costs. Businesses are dropping their coverage because they can't keep up with ever-rising premiums. Companies that do maintain coverage are pouring money that could go into wages into health care. The ridiculous $107 trillion figure you cited assumes that health care costs will continue to rise at their current rate, which is 7 percent. That leads to health care consuming half the economy by mid-century, which clearly can't happen. If it did happen, private insurance would collapse as well.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-13T21:26:50-06:00
ID
150878
Comment

[quote] First, his point is that insurance pays for surgery and not preventive care. That's often the case. Try to get them to pay for smoking cessation or weight management for example ... not likely.[/quote] Please. I've got three diabetics in the family, and we all get preventative maintenance when it comes to things like foot care. Insurance would rather pay for that than amputate.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-14T07:08:51-06:00
ID
150879
Comment

But most times, insurance companies aren't interested in preventive care. I'm trying to get mine to pay for a colonoscopy and they don't want to do it. Otherwise, I'd have to pay $1500 for one. I don't have cancer but if I were to ever get it, the insurance company can't say it's a pre-existing condition, so I would expect them to pay for at least most of my treatments. If I were an insurance company, I'd rather pay for prevention now than for treatment later.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-14T07:52:37-06:00
ID
150880
Comment

While it has problems, SS is not doomed, but it should be dealt with soon. The most immediate and serious issue is Medicare, and its chickens will come home to roost decades sooner than the SS problem does.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-14T08:07:53-06:00
ID
150881
Comment

Without intervention, either through benefit cuts or tax increases, both programs are doomed Jeff. Of course you can say that is decades from now, but that only shifts the problem to our kids and grandchildren. We, as a country, have got to realize sooner or later that we can't continue to live beyond our means on credit. We are already running huge federal budget deficits, any plan proposed from here on out should be budget neutral. That, of course, won't happen because the American people would completely lose it if the kind of tax increases that would be required to fund something of that magnitude were proposed. So basically we want the moon and don't want to have to pay for it. SS is a program on the same order as a ponzi scheme. All the revenues collected are spent, none are saved for the respective contributors or re-invested. The taxes collected from workers are spent to pay benefits for those already retired. You can call it reasonable but Bernie Madoff is doing hard time for the same sort of scam. We talk about how we need these programs for our elderly and sick. But we also need billions to buy used cars in the cash for clunkers program too? I'm sure people will defend this as a much needed program and maybe it is, but we have to set some kind of priorities. Which is more important? It's obvious the Federal Government can't pay for everything it wants to do, we need reasonable people to decide what we need and worry about what we want later.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-14T08:41:56-06:00
ID
150882
Comment

On your first point, WMartin, you are preaching to the choir. This country has been running deficits, adding debt, and creating market bubbles for decades. The Bush era of "borrow and spend" was just the latest chapter in fiscal irresponsibility. We may have entered another one with Obama, but I think it's too soon to tell. In terms of the Medicare crisis, it appears we have basically only 3 options to cure the imbalance: (1) increase taxes; (2) Manage (ration) care; or (3) cut remiburement rates (which will just lead to option 2). Guess which one I think is going to happen? My biggest concern with healthcare reform is that while our current system is unsustainable and reform is needed badly, I would hate to see us initiate a program in haste that we ultimately still can't afford and that will make the debt and imbalances we see now look like "the good ol days."

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-14T10:16:47-06:00
ID
150883
Comment

WMartin, it is absurd to call Social Security a ponzi scheme. Your description of how the program works is comical because it could be used to make any insurance program sound nefarious. Yes, Social Security collects revenues from workers and uses them to pay benefits to retirees. No, that money is not invested. Do you know why? Because Social Security is not an investment program, and comparing it to one is deeply misleading. Social Security is not doomed, and fixing it is, at worst, a medium-size problem. But the libertarian jihad against all social programs continues regardless of pesky facts. This long-term propaganda effort is corrosive to the republic, as it undermines faith in the government to serve the public good. It is both irrational and unpatriotic.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-14T11:15:06-06:00
ID
150884
Comment

Note also that the health care reform proposals before Congress are budget neutral. President Obama has said, from the beginning, that any bill must provide revenue to pay for new programs. So worry over the deficit is misplaced in this debate. We can be sure that the deficit will continue to expand if we do nothing to control health care costs, and what frustrates me most about this debate is the flagrant irresponsibility of conservatives. The current system simply cannot continue. But conservatives would rather chortle over death panels than present real suggestions for reform. Such behavior is shameful.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-14T11:21:54-06:00
ID
150885
Comment

LOL...ah, hell, when the government has to the power to keep printing money financed by foreign debt, everything is 'budget-neutral'...

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-14T11:40:34-06:00
ID
150886
Comment

Nick22, Ironghost - Most of your (and Republican) arguments have no basis in reality. Those that are reality based are often twisted and out of context. Brian C Johnson, conservatives literally can not see France or retain knowledge of it's existence because it doesn't fit in with their preconceived notions. (LOL) I've written some articles on the bill H.R. 3200 if anyone wants to go take a read : http://my.nowpublic.com/health/list-health-care-insurance-reform-bill http://my.nowpublic.com/world/health-care-reform-bill-simplified and http://my.nowpublic.com/world/bill-does-not-make-private-health-insurance-illegal and check out Politifact's site on Health - http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/subjects/health/

Author
BobbyKearan
Date
2009-08-14T12:02:30-06:00
ID
150887
Comment

[quote]Note also that the health care reform proposals before Congress are budget neutral. President Obama has said, from the beginning, that any bill must provide revenue to pay for new programs. So worry over the deficit is misplaced in this debate.[/quote]How can that be, when according to the CBO and JCT the House bill would add a net $239 billion over 10 years to the deficit, while the HELP Committee bill racks up more, $597 billion over 10 years? He's relying on anticipated savings to make them neutral, but what guarantees are there that those "cuts" will happen?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-08-14T12:04:17-06:00
ID
150888
Comment

[quote]Most of your (and Republican) arguments have no basis in reality. Those that are reality based are often twisted and out of context.[/quote] Aren't we grateful to have such noble liberals to set us straight! Now, if you can get your Boss to get his facts straight about such things has how much an Amputation really costs, or how long Medicaid has before it goes bankrupt or even how we're actually going to pay for all of this, let me know. So far he hasn't given out figure one. It's all been mentioning a number and then shuffling it over. I'm not hanging around this argument because there is no way to pay for Universal Health Care.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-14T12:18:51-06:00
ID
150889
Comment

Jeff Lucas, The H.R. 3200 bill adding to the deficit or having a 'surplus' is totally dependent on the "Pay-as-you-Go" bill's fate. If the fiscal responsibility bill does pass, then it will net a 5 billion surplus, if the bill doesn't pass, then the bill's cost (according to the CBO) will have a 200+billion deficit. Actually, its not the cost of the reforms in the bill - it hinges on the Medicare reimbursements that have grown faster than they should have, but have been 'fixed' by congress against the rules of medicare. For more on that - http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/aug/03/russ-carnahan/carnahan-misquotes-cbo-about-cost-health-care-refo/

Author
BobbyKearan
Date
2009-08-14T12:20:34-06:00
ID
150890
Comment

Ironghost - I'm not a Liberal. I am a supporter of Truth and Facts. How can you say he hasn't given out figures in one sentence and then say he's been mentioning numbers in the next? Figures = Numbers. Totally contradicting yourself. LOL (and yeah, I'm just teasing about that.) Go into a hospital for an amputation and see how much the bill comes to. Sure, the actual amputation may be $750, but you got all the surrounding expenses as well - anesthetics, x-rays, pain meds, nurses, janitor fees (check the hospital bill), hospital food, etc. Your statement is yet another example of twisting. "Oh, the entire bill may be that high, but the actual line item that says 'amputation' will only be $750." duhhuhhuh. You are also ignoring the context and missing the point entirely. Even worse, on purpose. If you want the mechanics of it, READ THE BILL. http://thomas.loc.gov

Author
BobbyKearan
Date
2009-08-14T12:30:44-06:00
ID
150891
Comment

In Seven Falsehood About Health Care FactCheck.org tackles some of the most common myths about this issue, digging in and separating fact from fiction: Does the House bill call for mandatory counseling on how to end seniors' lives sooner? Absolutely not. Will the government be dictating to doctors how to treat their patients? No. Do the bills propose cutting Medicare benefit levels? No on that one, too. But on the other hand, has Congress figured out how to pay for this overhaul? Not yet. Or will it really save families $2,500 a year as the president keeps claiming? Good luck on that one, too. ... False: Government Will Decide What Care I Get (a.k.a. they won't give grandma a hip replacement) ... False: The Bill Is Paid For ... False: Private Insurance Will Be Illegal ... False: The House Bill Requires Suicide Counseling ... False: Families Will Save $2,500 ... False: Medicare Benefits Will Be Slashed ... False: Illegal Immigrants Will Be Covered Worth reading, all.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-14T15:00:20-06:00
ID
150892
Comment

Iron, if there is no way to pay for universal health care, how is it that most other advanced democracies do so? My original question still stands, if we can set aside WMartin's absurd and demonstrably false claim that social spending is $107 trillion in debt. If governments are always more inefficient than private markets, how is it that other countries pay half as much per person with their government programs while receiving superior health care? (By the way, here is a Fox News story about how the United States comes in dead last in a five-country survey of patient satisfaction.) WMartin argued that those countries cannot actually pay for their programs, but this only shows that he does not understand health care spending. Spending is growing much more slowly in other countries than it is here. In other words, health care spending in other countries is more sustainable than spending here. Like Graywalker, I am part of the reality-based community Bush's aides denigrated. I wish you conservatives would man up and grapple with the evidence, whether or not it suits your Reaganite fantasies.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-14T15:54:46-06:00
ID
150894
Comment

Please. I've got three diabetics in the family, and we all get preventative maintenance when it comes to things like foot care. Insurance would rather pay for that than amputate. But foot care for someone with diabetes is not prophylactic, Iron. It's treating the symptoms, not addressing the underlying cause of adult-onset diabetes. To do that, insurance would need to pay for weight loss programs, for example, which most of them will not do.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-14T16:28:37-06:00
ID
150896
Comment

Ronni M, for a person with diabetes foot care most certainly is prophylactic. Should insurance companies pay for weight loss programs is another issue altogether, and many of them in fact do pay, but ultimately the consumer of the plan or the government or the business "pays" one way or another. Mandating certain benefits in effect increases the policy costs which get passed on. Many workplaces encourage healthy employees by sponsoring seminars and exercise activities, smoking cessation, etc. The cost to the company is small compared to the benefit. And finally, I brought up the misstatement Obama made about amputations, and stand by the assertion that he is being seriously misinformed by his handlers about this. View the video in context, its not a snippet, its a several minute monologue. If you are talking about the actual cost of an amputation, it is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on what all you want to include, but don't make it sound like doctors are running off with all of that because they aren't.

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-08-14T18:25:40-06:00
ID
150897
Comment

GLewis, prophylactic care for diabetes would prevent diabetes. Preventative care would include weight loss, proper diet, exercise. Foot care is mandatory for people with diabetes. It is treating a symptom (i.e., neuropathy and poor circulation), not the disease. As to Obama's misstatement, the video you linked to is exactly one minute and one second long based on the timer on the bottom. Where is the context? Do you really want to hang your entire opinion about Obama and health care on a one minute and one second piece of video taken out of context? Really? Do you vote based only on 60-second commercials, too?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-14T19:02:13-06:00
ID
150898
Comment

Ronni, I'm not arguing against preventive care but your idea that diabetes is a totally preventable illness is just wrong. And foot care isn't treating a symptom since by the time symptoms occur the damage is done. Foot care is done to prevent symptoms, and hey, foot care consists of recommending diet and exercise. Finally, I didn't claim I based my view of Obama on that one statement, I specifically said his handlers need to be schooled. My view of the proposals is based on what I can see and if Obama doesn't have correct information and insight into the problems he isn't going to come up with decent solutions. Reform is needed but the amount of misinformation I'm seeing out there from both sides is mind boggling.

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-08-14T19:57:18-06:00
ID
150904
Comment

if there is no way to pay for universal health care, how is it that most other advanced democracies do so? Simple, through high taxes and increased national debt. They run huge deficits and borrow tons of cash. That's how France does it anyway. They don't produce the necessary funds to pay for all of it they borrow them. You are right Brian, I don't understand this kind of spending. I don't understand why people believe this kind of fiscal policy is sustainable or even responsible. Consuming more than you produce is almost never a good thing. At some point you have to stop spending and pay the bill. You say that this program is supposed to be deficit neutral, well, the CBO disagrees. A lot of people disagree. And just because they disagree with you doesn't make them unpatriotic. Where have I heard that before? As for what you describe as my "absurd and demonstrably false claims" they are the numbers sourced from the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees. Maybe if you had used recent numbers instead of ones four years old you would have a better picture of the problem. Projected long run program costs are not sustainable under current program parameters. Social Security's annual surpluses of tax income over expenditures are expected to fall sharply this year and to stay about constant in 2010 because of the economic recession, and to rise only briefly before declining and turning to cash flow deficits beginning in 2016 that grow as the baby boom generation retires. (bold emphasis mine) http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html Hmmm... thats only some 7 years, not the 4 decades you are talking about. Of course then they will begin to liquidate the fund assets. Those are the IOU's that the government wrote the fund as it spent those surpluses. Remember Al Gore's campaign promise of a SS lock box? Well, we all know what happened to his campaign. The trustee's report goes on to say; The deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets until reserves are exhausted in 2037, at which point tax income would be sufficient to pay about three fourths of scheduled benefits through 2083.(again, my bold emphasis) http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html Still, another 16 years before your outdated "facts". Maybe a SS recipient can enlighten us on how great 75% of their benefits would be? I wish I had your faith that there was no need for concern over budget deficits, but I will leave faith to those that chose to believe in the honesty of politician's promises that they are looking out for the public good. I will believe what I can see and read for myself. I hope we will all hold the President to his word. Reform is needed but the amount of misinformation I'm seeing out there from both sides is mind boggling. Amen, Glewis.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-15T12:04:57-06:00
ID
150905
Comment

WMartin, thank you for the updated figures. They illustrate that long-range projections are best given as ranges. However, your claim that I was off by decades is incorrect. The new figures adjust the point of deficit spending from my 2020 to the new 2016, a difference of 4 years. The shorter timeline does not change the overall picture, however. As I noted, your report warns that Medicare is a much worse problem than Social Security. It describes moderate adjustments to ensure the solvency of Social Security, such as an immediate 13 percent drop in benefits or a 3 percent raise in payroll taxes. Both would cause some pain, which is why I think Ronni is right in suggesting an end to the payroll cap, which would solve most of the problem. That's a far cry from your claim that social programs are neither "sustainable" nor "responsible." Relatively minor adjustments can ensure Social Security's solvency through the next 75 years. Your claim is false.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-15T13:56:07-06:00
ID
150906
Comment

And this still leaves us with the question of health care spending. What would you do to reduce growth in health care spending? Abolish Medicare, I suppose? Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom all cover every person in their country and spend around half per person what we do. We have 46 million uninsured, and that number is only going to keep growing. Moreover, the rate of increase is much higher in the United States than other countries. I do not mean to question the patriotism of conservatives, but it frustrates me enormously that you have chosen this moment to rail against Social Security and Medicare. Our private health insurance system is producing cost increases of 7 percent a year. If we can't slow that rate of increase, it will wreck the economy. But go on talking like a Texan at a Barry Goldwater rally. I'm sure health care will fix itself.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-15T14:07:02-06:00
ID
150907
Comment

The one thing I am surprised that no one has brought up is what we spend on the war. How is that being left out of this conversation? Or am I missing it? Cost of the war in Iraq is here: http://zfacts.com/p/447.html (I tried to figure out how to post the little running clock but I am lost when it comes to stuff like that.) We need to cut somewhere to spend somewhere else, I say we start there. If we could at least hold spending at least current rates for a period of years we could outgrow debts and deficits. I think we have a problem of priorities as I said earlier. I don't want to abolish Medicare. Personally, I would welcome a universal coverage for health care plan, as long as we take care to make it sustainable and fiscally responsible.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-08-15T14:35:31-06:00
ID
150909
Comment

WMartin, I certainly agree with you on the war. The projected cost of health care reform is about the same as the cost of the Iraq War, or about $100 billion a year. Unlike the war, we would actually get something useful for our money. I do not dismiss the dangers of deficit spending. It was reassuring to see that inflation need not be an immediate concern, but there's no question that we must reduce our debt. You are right that we will have to raise taxes, and we should raise them mainly on the wealthy. The wealthy are paying less in taxes now than they have in generations. I think we should return to Nixon's top tax rate, which was 70 percent. The top tax rate is now 35 percent, but you would think Obama was Chairman Mao for suggesting we let it return to 39 percent. I think the Democrats are weenies for not putting forward real numbers. We need the full Nixon. It won't solve all our problems, but it would be an excellent start. The top 0.01 percent of earners now claim 6 percent of all earnings. The top 10 percent take 49.7 percent of all income. Our wages stagnate, while theirs soar. Where is the economic prosperity we were promised by trickle down? The economy was much stronger in the 1950s, when the top tax rate was 90 percent, under Republican Dwight Eisenhower. That socialist!

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-08-15T16:12:52-06:00
ID
150910
Comment

I agree that the cost of U.S. wars is absurd, but our entire defense budget is whacko. The U.S. spends as much as all nations on earth COMBINED on defense. Talk about screwed up priorities! Our economy is dependent on the industry producing defensive weaponry. If we didn't have a war to fight, we'd have to make one up. Oh, but wait. We already did (see Iraq WMDs). We really also need to put prevention into the health-care equation. For those who still don't understand the difference between prophylactic (i.e. preventative) care BEFORE the onset of disease, and preventative treatment of symptoms AFTER the onset of disease, I'll try once more. Diabetes is a great example. Clearly, diabetic foot care, for example, would not be necessary in the absence of diabetes. Diabetic foot problems are complications of diabetes, thus, routine foot care is treating a disease symptom and not preventing the cause, which is ... DIABETES. In the overwhelming majority of cases, Type II adult-onset diabetes is completely preventable (the CDC puts the figure at 95 percent, a May 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine study put it at 90 percent) and is usually "curable" if it hasn't gone too far. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the cost of diabetes in 2007 was around $174 billion in the U.S., and that $1 out of every $5 spent in health care is spent on someone with diagnosed diabetes, heavily weighted toward those over 65 (putting an inordinate burden on Medicare, with estimates of more than a third of all Medicare costs attributable to diabetes). Prevention, then, could save billions in health care costs. Of course, prevention costs money as well, but nothing like the cost of treatment. People with diagnosed diabetes incur average expenditures of $11,744 per year, of which $6,649 is attributed to diabetes, according to the ADA. I have personally witnessed middle-aged diabetics who experienced *complete* reversal of all diabetic symptoms through a program of weight loss, proper diet and appropriate exercise. Those "cures" included total reversal of diabetic neuropathy and improved circulation in the extremities. Even moderate 5 to 7 percent weight loss (10 to 14 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds) and moderate exercise has proven effective in preventing diabetes. All of which suggests that the "damage" GLewis talks about is neither inevitable, nor irreversible. In fact, the only thing that's irreversible about diabetes seems to be gangrene and amputation, which is the "too far" I referenced earlier. Talk to chef Louis Bruno if you don't believe me. He went from being a 400-pound insulin-dependent diabetic (complete with foot SYMPTOMS and a 5-year life expectancy) to running marathons, completely reversing all signs of diabetes. His story is not unique. Nor is diabetes the only largely preventable "lifestyle" disease. A great deal of heart and lung disease is preventable (by not smoking, for example), as are some types of cancer and many other diseases. Yet the American Medical cabal (doctors, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies) continues to focus attention only on treating disease after its onset, ignoring the benefits of prevention.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-15T19:43:02-06:00
ID
150911
Comment

...and all of that I already knew, myself. I've met Louis Bruno, even. I still don't see how you're going to pay for it without raising taxes, which is what will happen.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-15T20:10:12-06:00
ID
150913
Comment

What I'm trying to say regarding changing our health focus from post-onset treatment to pre-onset prevention, and what I believe Brian and WMartin are saying regarding the defense/war budgets is that there are plenty of areas to look at for cost savings in the national budget, Iron. We do not simply have to add more to our spending. We can actually shift funds from programs that provide zero ROI (like the Iraq war) and eliminate waste, spending the same while having better outcomes. The other thing Brian pointed out, and rightly so IMHO, is that we can and should return tax rates for the wealthy to pre-Bush II levels at least, which will accomplish two things: make our tax system more equitable and provide additional revenue for programs like universal health care. Obama never made any promises not to raise taxes on the wealthy ... to the contrary, he said he would raise taxes on that top 5 percent.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-08-16T12:20:27-06:00
ID
150914
Comment

"Talk to chef Louis Bruno if you don't believe me. He went from being a 400-pound insulin-dependent diabetic (complete with foot SYMPTOMS and a 5-year life expectancy) to running marathons, completely reversing all signs of diabetes." Please make a slight correction here. Bruno was a type 2 insulin dependent diabetic. We have a child who is a type 1 insulin dependent diabetic, and it doesn't matter what kind of diet she is on or how many marathons she runs: she will be an insulin-dependent diabetic for the rest of her life unless a cure is found. The two types are quite different, and it causes a lot of problems for people like our daughter. She hears so often, "Well, if you don't eat this type of food, you can get off your insulin" or, "If you get more exercise, you won't be diabetic anymore." This is simply not true. Carry on.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-08-16T14:53:25-06:00

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