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Obama Touts Public Plan at Health Care Town Hall

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By Michael A. Fletcher
GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- President Obama today reiterated his call for a government-run insurance option as part of his a plan to remake the nation's health care system, saying that a public plan will provide the competition needed to keep private insurance companies "honest and keep prices down."

Creation of a publicly run health care plan to compete with private insurers has emerged as one of the largest hurdle as Congress moves closer to a full blown debate on restructuring the nation's health care system in the coming weeks. Many Republicans oppose the option, saying it would eventually squeeze private insurers out of business.

Obama said that his administration is working on a health insurance exchange that would allow people to "one-stop shop" for a health care plan by allowing consumers to compare benefits and prices between the private and public health care plans.

"One of the options in the exchange should be a public insurance option -- because if the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest and help keep prices down," Obama said.

Speaking at a town hall-style meeting in a high school gymnasium, Obama also restated his support for limiting itemized deductions for families earning more than $250,000 a year. He said the revenue from that change is needed to help raise the more than $1 trillion it is expected to cost over the next decade to extend health care coverage for the 46 million uninsured Americans.

The proposal has run into strong opposition from interest groups ranging from mortgage bankers to charities, and some congressional Democrats have pronounced it politically unfeasible. Instead, a Senate plan to overhaul health care is likely to include a new tax on employer-provided health care plans that exceed the value of the basic plan offered to federal employees, about $13,000 a year for a family of four.

The president's appearance here is part of the administration's effort to generate a political consensus for remaking the nation's health care system, which he calls his top domestic priority. Obama wants to extend coverage to those who lack it, while slowing the spiraling costs that are pushing increasing numbers of families and businesses to the economic brink.

"Every day in this country, more and more Americans are forced to worry not simply about getting well, but whether they can afford to get well," Obama said. "Millions more wonder if they can afford the routine care necessary to stay well."

Obama was introduced at the meeting by Laura Klitzka, a 35-year-old, married mother of two who suffers from stage three breast cancer, who Obama pointed to as a living example of the need for health care reform.

Going through through several rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments has left her "overwhelmed by medical bills." Her husband has health insurance but faces high deductibles and growing premiums, which have left the family with $12,000 in unpaid medical bills.

"Having cancer will totally change a person's life," she said. But also having to also deal with the financial issues that come with the issues is "devastating," she said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 11, 2009; 2:22 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Health Care  
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Comments

Private health insurance has glaring conflicts of interests. Single payer could give 100% coverage to 100% of the people at http://www.pnhp.org/facts/singlepayer_faq.php

Posted by: rooster54 | June 12, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2009/06/apparently_were_not_getting_mu.html

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

We want health care equality. We also want our health care to be more affordable and better quality. To achieve all of that, we will need to reform our current system by retooling the methods of financing. By changing the way that health care is paid for, single payer health care can eradicate the disparities and inequalities while simultaneously improving quality of care for everyone. This increase in quality will also cost less. I'm eager to talk to you about how this can only be accomplished with single payer.

More here: http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2009/06/apparently_were_not_getting_mu.html

Posted by: EverydayCitizen | June 12, 2009 4:29 AM | Report abuse

GOP Lines:

1) Competition is always good.

2) Private enterprise is always superior to government programs.

3) Private enterprise cannot and should not compete against government programs.

If you can hold all three beliefs at the same time without any doubt, you are a Republican indeed.

Posted by: nodebris | June 12, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Maybe someone can program the teleprompter - Ron Burgandy style - to tell this guy that the campaign actually ended a few months ago. He won! Now it's time to start doing things. More governing, less fancy speech making. www.myangryelephant.com

Posted by: myangryelephant | June 11, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama has avoided the thorny details of assiduous analysis on the most critical problems facing America, and has used sweeping, but banal statements of obvious principals, while his appointees actually implement policies and programs inconsistent with the claims of the message. Now his methodology will be applied to Healthcare?

Did America elect a monarch? … A President is still needed.


http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/06/does-america-yearn-for-monarch.html

Posted by: JamesRaider | June 11, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Obama being a POS, private companies can't compete with the government!!! Ford is going to get killed because GM and Chrysler have the full faith and credit of the US tax payer behind them. Anyways, there is no money for a national health care system or public health insurance. Where you going to get the money for this socialist tripe Obama? Squeze the tax base more? Nope, can't get blood from a turnip. Print money? Nope, that ends badly also. So what you going to do Barry?

Posted by: rickmccay | June 11, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"One of the options in the exchange should be a public insurance option -- because if the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest and help keep prices down," Obama said.

WTF???? What a dumb POS. Spoken like a true socialist. Welcome to the USSA.

Posted by: rickmccay | June 11, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Here, here, MR AMS. Ive been living abroad for the past 3 years in 3 different countries... The Czech Republic, South Korea, and now Japan. All have had some form of socialized or national health care options. Pretty much every fear of this kind of health care system Ive heard from friends and family has turned out to be false. Fears of low quality, lack of accessability, lack of choice, all misguided. The only critisism I can think to be valid is the fact that wealthier peoples taxes may be used to cover cost for poorer individuals. First, average cost of health care per individual in a lot of these other countries is actually down from the US. And in every country Ive been in Ive had to pay a monthly premium, no free ride. Plus, runaway health care costs is a major contributor to bankruptcies in the US which seems to be having a effect on all of us now.

Posted by: mwarren1 | June 11, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Reading several of the comments here, I have to believe that several of these folks who are spouting off on the various trials and tribulations of the more universal healthcare systems around the world are people who have little to no first hand experience of any of these systems! I am an American who is currently living in Amtserdam, Netherlands, with my girlfriend and our 2.5 year old son. We have a gold plated insurance policy that covers everything you can think of - including alternative medicine treatments, counseling, preventive care, complete dental care, complete vision care - and costs us about 360 euor a month. Our son is covered at no cost for all care until he is eighteen, and the city health department takes an active interest in his health on a wholistic level. I came here with several of the same stereotypes tat I see expressed here about waits and lower quality care, but I have not experienced any of hat. In fact, our pediatrician makes house calls, expecially if any of his yourng charges are particularly unwell. When was the last time a US pedicatrician did that as part of his / her normal practice? It is quite sad to think that the US - the world's only remaining superpower - is also one of the only deveoiped nations tat cannot provide basic, affordable health care for its citizen. Perhpas of even greater concern is the fact that several of its suppossedly educated citizens do not see this as a fundamental failing of a their "modern" society, preferring to continue to wallow in their delusion of the individualist paradise that they believe is the ideal for a modern civilized society. What a crock!!!

Posted by: MR_AMS | June 11, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I challenge everyone to tell me something the government does efficiently. I can't wait to see the disaster incompetent weirdo buearucrats deliver, ha, ha, ha, ha.............

Posted by: goziner | June 11, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The Health Care Reform debate is rapidly developing into a battle between those, like the President, who seek to achieve the elusive goal of universal, or virtually universal, coverage versus those who seek to protect particular interests, especially those of the insurance industry. The Health Care Reform fight exposes the extent to which special interests tend to dominate politics on Capitol Hill.

We have the President representing the interests of ordinary Americans, the "little people" while conservatives continue to do everything possible to protect special interests, particularly the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies. Has it become lost on Senators that they are elected by ordinary Americans, not by special interests? Yet because the special interests are loud and have lots of money to contribute to their campaigns, many Senators are bowing to them.

A public option is truly in the national interest, just as the President has said. The only way to control health care costs is to provide a public option to compete with private insurers. But many Senators are more interested in protecting special interests than in acting in the national interest.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | June 11, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"a public plan will provide the competition needed to keep private insurance companies "honest and keep prices down."'

What a gem!!! Who's going to keep the government honest?? Remember, "Social Security Trust"? Yeah, all the money gets spent on arrival for all but the intent. Goes bankrupt and no one is accountable.... I'd like to see them open the books on Medicaid and Medicare too. If they're so good about keeping things honest, why is "Medicare Fraud" a part of accepted vocabulary?

Best stock up on medical supplies and get your first aid manuals at the ready. Although they might ration self-medication too....

Posted by: Spitfires | June 11, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that it is wise to make healthcare free, but more affordable, a little bit, would be nice. It's not too bad now. I'm single, and a contractor. I pay my own health insurance. It's about half of what a car payment is.I guess if you are only making $9 as an adult and have kids, and your single..... I'm truly sorry for you.
You see, if everyone could have free healthcare, than our hospitals would be filled with those, yes they are less fortunate, but a lot of beds would be taken up be those that do not contribute to the whole and are on their last legs. How would you like to see 12,000 homeless people taking up every hospital bed in your city? Then those who just need a hospital bed to get over something quick would be put on a list, and told to wait. Companies that provide money to those out of work due to injury would end up having to pay more and their rates would have to go up to cover it. Did you see in Canada it had gotten to be such a problem they were actually telling people to go die at home and not to take up a bed at the hospital.
Maybe the real answer is free or dirt cheap health care at least for our children up to the age of 14 or something like that. Children should be takien care of if the parents are unable to do such. Then again, I see a lot of parents that can't afford health insurance, but they have xbox360's, 52 inch plasma hd tv's and drink a sixer or more every night. I also see some of the nicest cars in trailer parks. Either they are drug dealers (, which I can't understand how cops aren't able to break down on them, lst's see, sports jearsey, bandana, $48,000+ car with tinted windows and a great sound system, I'm betting drug dealer, anyways,) or they should be smarter and buy something more in their price ranges. Just please don't go pointing fingers. I know that politicians and bankers are making a lot of money with huge bonuses, but so are our athletes. I also never remember hearing anybody as a kid saying they want to grow up to run a cash register! Gain some ambition. Right now there are so many positions in the health care field. Geez there isn't even enough people to teach in the health field! The need for these positions will forever increase, and a lot of the positions don't need more than two years of training!
Good luck all of you.

Posted by: ai3di | June 11, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

vgailitis

That's what I was trying to tell you for the last eight years...

But you bought Bush BS?

Now you are so confused you wouldn't know the truth if you came and bit you in the arse!

Posted by: danson1 | June 11, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with A.B Stoddard hair?

Ed Schultz cracks me up - On one side of his head he talks about the Democrats need to get tough with the Republicans - They act like are afraid of them.

Yet when he let the Republicans come on his show he displays the same thing...

Republicans can't answer their own question yet Ed makes me sick when he ask a republican "Well what do you think the Democrats should do?"

Tellin you - he got tackle too many times in his college days!

Bring back David Shuster!!!!!!

GET RID OF THE ED SHOW - DO NOT RENEW HIS CONTRACT -

Posted by: danson1 | June 11, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

so jeremiah wright is in it again, huh? now blaming other people for his inability to talk with obama.

WRIGHT???? he's has access to a private airplane???

WRITHT??????? HE OWNS A BLACKBERRY?

my guess is you two talk all the time.... who's fooling who?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | June 11, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Are there really people out there that buy this BS? Obama is full of it and he's talking out of both sides of his ,ying Marxist mouth!

Posted by: vgailitis | June 11, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

hey Obama and Co!

GET A CLUE!!!! WILLYA?

THE EUROPEAN countries and Canada who have this kind of insurance system are all coming here for healthcare.

women progress with breast cancer because they have to wait up to one and a half years in some cases.

and other horror stories that are tearful to even listen to.

GET A HINT - - PLEASE.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | June 11, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

no - they can afford it if they stop signing off on a plane to fly over new york for the price of $300,000.

no - they can afford it if they stop PAYING CZARS to oversea departments that already have a headperson at the helm.

no - they can afford it if they take the $67MILLION they are getting back and use it towards the deficit or borrown $67MILLION less - - INSTEAD this administration wants to SPEND IT.. again!!!

interest rates reached 20+ percent during Carter's time - - we didnt even borrow this kind of money THEN!

no - they can afford it if they stop giving away BILLIONS behind what they know will fail - - in other words, they need to stop giving away money to their friends and then claim they dont know where it went.

no - we need an HONEST wo(man) as president. A good man or a good woman... not someone who views this as a perk-job to be on television and travel-Europe.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | June 11, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Please, if someone willing to tell this id..t that election is over and he is already the president?
I ask seriously, whether it's time to add on to the shaky economy?

Posted by: heibett | June 11, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

You have to have a public plan for folks without jobs or other insurance or you will paying the health care and drug industry the majority of tax payer money that could pay for health care. If not, eventually health insurance will cost so much no one can afford to pay for the premiums. Medicare is not a good plan due to lack of bidding for drugs, etc. There are so many drugs plans for seniors they still have to pay to extra to get what is needed. Americans are suffering job losses and salary decreases. The health care industry needs to suck it up with the rest of us. If you have health insurance the majority of your premiums go to execs in big brick buildings, and making congressmen and women millionaire paying them off, not for treatment of ailments.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/11/lobbyists-spend-millions-fighting-obama-universal-health-care-plan/

Posted by: billisnice | June 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Do not worry, rskura, if senseless wars, which are running now, with their unmeasurable costs, are stopped, the government would be able to afford the universal health care.

Posted by: aepelbaum | June 11, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

WTH!!!!
They want to FINE people who DON'T pick a plan!

LOL, WAR MF!!!!1

Posted by: kurtbw | June 11, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Everywhere in the world is proven that UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE with the one payer-government is the only working solution. Obama does not want to admit it. Whom and why are he trying to trick by his approach is ununderstandable, but he is surely eating his own presidency and his ability to be re-elected in 2012 from the tail by this approach to health care reform.

Posted by: aepelbaum | June 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

meowomon:

What other "for profit" industry will be next then? Legal services? Mortgages? Super markets and restaurants?

Posted by: JakeD | June 11, 2009 4:54 PM

-------------------------------------------

Hey JokeD, do you ever pause to consider how much heaven is going suck for you given that JC is not going to share your fervor for engaging in bloody conflicts with everyone or the mirth you derive from social Darwinism?

Oooh, on another note, you've really turned me on to the merits of your super hero Dick Cheney.

I wanna be more like Dick!!!

So to prove it, I'm gonna get real siht faced at the bars tonight. Then I'm gonna operate a vehicle, for freedom!!!!

Like Dick!!!!

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/cheney_doc.html

Posted by: htruman | June 11, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen one comment in here from anyone who has lived in a country with a government supplied health system. There are countries supplying quality health care at a fraction of the cost that we pay.
All I want is the same health care insurance that all our congressmen and senators receive no matter how long they have served the country. That would be fair.

Posted by: gordygauss | June 11, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I have received health care in two countries with socialized medicine (England and Costa Rica) that did not charge me anything, despite the fact I was not a citizen. Many illegals do pay taxes. Don't get your underwear in a bunch over this, it's a minor issue (or should be).

The fact that Republicans and private insurance companies don't want the public option just shows how corrupt they are. This is the plan: anyone who likes their private insurance can stick with it. Period. Shouldn't the free marketers be rejoicing in this idea? It's a great chance for the private insurers to prove how great they are! (Ha.)

No one here is forcing socialized medicine on anyone. There are plenty of creative ways to pay for this (although I realize it is probably too much to ask for politicians listening to industry lobbyists all day to be creative.

Posted by: Bguhl | June 11, 2009 5:40 PM

-------
You expect me to believe that many ILLEGALS pay taxes when we can't knock on the door to find out who the f they are, during census count or time to send their ars back?
Give me a freakin' break!
Another thing, where is the proof of this and where's the proof of the NONBURDEN they cause on our Health Care System?

YOU have none. Its not a REPUBLICAN here dodo, and another point to be made is how you f so called OKers didn't say a dam thing during Bushes tenure and now you got all kinds of ideas. Where the heck were you at when others like me were taking them to task about this.

Truth is money is bottom line and I don't care where you went, it wasn't AMERICA and the 300 Million, with our system in place.
With our TWO Wars and Economic pitfall and all.

You send a pea shooter for a 50 Cal job,
nice going sh!

Posted by: kurtbw | June 11, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Best Plan:

Across the board 20% Immediate reduction in all costs, no matter what it is from a but pencil (therm.) to a artificial heart!

Wage increase only when promoted to job higher up for 3 years like this, then ok to resume in year 4.

Cost can increase on the BOOKS only after 3 years and no more than 3%

This allows the entire population to catch up to affordable health care without workers being laid off so ILLEGALS can take their jobs just because they are younger and will vote for any party, I mean any. I know how this crap goes, no one's being fooled this time, Mr. Geitner.

Now the other part: Small Businesses and Self Employed can enjoy a bounce for once in investments and to HIRE and improve and BRANCH OUT! That's job creation.

The IT field and Medical Field will do their thing with Obama or WITHOUT HIM, it was on point before NOV.

I voted for him, but I am having all kinds of disagreements!!!!!!
stop those crapers from entering our country!

Posted by: kurtbw | June 11, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I have received health care in two countries with socialized medicine (England and Costa Rica) that did not charge me anything, despite the fact I was not a citizen. Many illegals do pay taxes. Don't get your underwear in a bunch over this, it's a minor issue (or should be).

The fact that Republicans and private insurance companies don't want the public option just shows how corrupt they are. This is the plan: anyone who likes their private insurance can stick with it. Period. Shouldn't the free marketers be rejoicing in this idea? It's a great chance for the private insurers to prove how great they are! (Ha.)

No one here is forcing socialized medicine on anyone. There are plenty of creative ways to pay for this (although I realize it is probably too much to ask for politicians listening to industry lobbyists all day to be creative.

Posted by: Bguhl | June 11, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, there should be no profit motive for whatever it is that you do for a living.

Posted by: thebink | June 11, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I love how the media always quotes the Dems figure of "insuring 46 million Americans". Although they are not Americans, the figure includes 20 million, or so, illegal aliens. Many, of course, sneak across the border to enter the United States and this will encourage at least another 20 million to make the trek.

Here's an idea. Why don't we just put up billboards on the Rio Grande advertising FREE HEATHCARE, 20 MINUTE EMERGENCY ROOM TREATMENT GUARANTEE, SNEAK ACROSS HERE!

Posted by: magellan1 | June 11, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I simply don't understand how anyone could argue that a "for profit" health system would be oriented towards anything other than the profit margin. It naturally follows then that that "for profit" system will try every avenue, legal or slightly dodgy, to increase its profits at every opportunity. How can anyone possibly say that such a system will deliver better health outcomes? If simple logic fails to convince that it doesn't, the evidence is overwhelming. In fact if "for profit" health care was a workable system, would we be having this debate today? The only ones that the "for profit" system benefits are the execs of the HMOs, the shareholders of same, which are mostly other mega-corporates and unscrupulous doctors and hospitals who rort the system.

----------------
Yet you CANNOT tell MILLIONS of health care workers to quite their jobs and get peanuts in place of what they make NOW!

You can't tell a Physician he will do this or that. Talk to your INSURANCE company, talk to the President about the F 10+ illegal people HERE NOW using our system at YOUR expense and making my wife pay up the a for Corornary Briding three times over because those SOB won't pay or you can't .

Easier said than done and trying to do it at the wrong time, becaue NOTHING IS FREE! You pay for it one way or the other.

When the Govt plans are out there, remember the NEWNESS of getting started the low level record keeping, getting lost in the shuffle and the IDENTITY THEFT from the ILLEGALS.

Think GD!!!!!

Posted by: kurtbw | June 11, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

JakeD...

There should be no profit motive for an insurance company when the health of the individual is in the balance. It's a fundamental conflict of interest to the detriment of the patient.

Translation:
You're still an idiot

Posted by: pdxgeek | June 11, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"One of the options in the exchange should be a public insurance option -- because if the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest and help keep prices down," Obama said.

Huh? Did Mr. Obama truly say that with a straight face or was it tongue in cheek?

Posted by: magellan1 | June 11, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Click on this link and join in this exciting game. http://yahoda.mybrute.com

Posted by: daemon234 | June 11, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

U kno what's really disappointing about most of this? these same now-just-out-of-college-people who voted for obama are going to be the ones hurt the most.

just when they settle in to enjoy a part of the american pie and begin their families they will find out that obama has already spent their joy. if only they could dare and look at the big picture of obama.

obama has dual citizenship and the money he has will allow him to live like a king in some nations. once he reduces america to a third-world country my guess is he's outta here with YOUR money?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | June 11, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone spend 4 years in college, 4 more years in med school, a couple more to specialize, a couple more of no sleep, barely any pay at a residency only to end up being on call, paying back a good quarter million in school loans to work for the government? Let's face it, Dr. Welby was only a fictional character.

Posted by: thebink | June 11, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how any national health care program can work as long as we continue to offer health services to illegal aliens. Hospitals continue to close in California, bankrupted by the non-paying foreign nationals who abuse our system. It will happen in your states, too, unless changes are made.
I am all in favor of a plan to provide health care for our citizens; but we simply cannot afford to provide it to the citizens of Chihuahua and Sonora as well.

Posted by: mipcom | June 11, 2009 4:04 PM
--------------

I see your point and I have mentioned this. It gets caught in the rhetoric of the "national" speak. I see the concern of the President to get something done, but he mustn't "default" away until his Supreme Court "empathizer" gets a seat, to have her address the California issue, thus relieving pressure on losing the Latino vote. He must not wait to speak on the ILLEGAL immigrant issue because of all the LEGAL ones waiting their 5 years for Citizenship!

I don't want feel good conversation, because the stench in the room is too unpleasant. I want to hear him speak about directly and why its so important to have to say something about HELPING ILLEGALS BEFORE the Summer Jobs programs (too late now, by the time they release the funds, the 4th July and the end of July will have come and gone, meaning his worry to go to Egypt also made the 3 million plus hear what he was going to do about job creation, instead kissing the Muslim world but.

I am so tired and head toward 60, you can understand why the old timers are starting to see he's too concerned about IMAGE. Well in the Bible the Beast was too.
He needs to stop being a beast for ILLEGALS and others abroad and take care of his house here. If want to raid someone's house, you distract them and make them leave, when they come back, its not their's anymore.

Posted by: kurtbw | June 11, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: joycekang | June 11, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

what we have is a SPOILED CHILD!

obama thinks all he has to do is show up, grin, and give a speech and the "FOLLOWERS" become putty in his hands.

this is hillariously dreadful.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | June 11, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA ENACTS PHYSICIAN ENSLAVEMENT LAW

(WASHINGTON DC) The White House announced a new Physician Enslavement Law, providing a solution to the Healthcare crisis through enslavement of Physicians..

“We were horrified to learn that even Obama can regulate Insurance plans all Obama wants (Peace be on Obama), without Physicians little happens,” unnamed White House official whined.

“And these greedy Physicians actually want to get PAID,” the White House source confirmed.

The Obama scheme was enacted under powers given to the President under TARP, as the Physicians have been deemed by Presidential Decree to be greedy capitalist enemies of the State.
Many Physicians currently earn 3 or 4 times the minimum wage, even after delays in processing Medicare claims. Physicians will be enslaved for 7 years at an assigned Hospital with no pay and no visitors.

Then the Physicians will be released, and only required to work 20 hours per week for free and with a small stipend as determined by the Pay Czar.

“We have found the solution for affordable health care,” Obama concluded, pointing to Cuba.

Posted by: JaxMax | June 11, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The average salary for a general practitioner is around $150,000. If Obama's plan is going to lesson Doctor's incomes we won't continue to get the best and brightest applying to Med school.

Posted by: thebink | June 11, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

meowomon:

What other "for profit" industry will be next then? Legal services? Mortgages? Super markets and restaurants?

Posted by: JakeD | June 11, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

It is laughable that Republicans think that a public option would eventually put the private insurance companies out of business. The only way that could happen is if the public plan outperforms the private plan in terms of cost and quality. If the public plan outperforms who cares whether the private insurance goes out of business. Of course the answer to that question is the executives who work for the big insurance companies care. But, given that the goal is supposed to be providing the best health care at the lowest cost it seems a little weird that the public would think it is a good idea to subsidize the executives who are making millions?

Posted by: cdierd1944 | June 11, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

As a nurse, I can tell you that "for profit" means just that. The patient(YOU!) is the one who suffers when the insurance companies, hospitals and drug makers don't make a profit.

Posted by: meowomon | June 11, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

We already have a universal healthcare system. Any uninsured person can hobble in to the emergency room to get treatment at 100 to 1000 times the cost of preventive care. Those costs end up crippling state budgets.

The annual ritual of selecting your healthcare choices is does not really create competition among insurers because there is no unbiased rating system between their services.

Private insurers are already engaged in selective socialism. They try to increase profits by favoring the healthy and employed wherever the law has a loophole. But its naive to think that the paltry contributions from your employer and paycheck is sufficient to cover a major illness. Someone will pick up your tab, sooner or later, no matter who you are.

Its time for a system that works for everyone AND is competitive AND holds people accountable for their health.

Posted by: YoungAtheart | June 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I simply don't understand how anyone could argue that a "for profit" health system would be oriented towards anything other than the profit margin. It naturally follows then that that "for profit" system will try every avenue, legal or slightly dodgy, to increase its profits at every opportunity. How can anyone possibly say that such a system will deliver better health outcomes? If simple logic fails to convince that it doesn't, the evidence is overwhelming. In fact if "for profit" health care was a workable system, would we be having this debate today? The only ones that the "for profit" system benefits are the execs of the HMOs, the shareholders of same, which are mostly other mega-corporates and unscrupulous doctors and hospitals who rort the system.

Posted by: ScottFromOz | June 11, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

When the Fools on that Hill-inside that Beltway;

FINALLY;

comprehend the Difference between INSURANCE, and actual TREATMENTS;

Then, and only then;

will I ever have faith that they have the foggiest Clue!

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 11, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

why are repubs so afraid of the gov. run insurance option? Doesn't the government always screw up and the private section excel?
They have nothing to worry about since the private ins. companies will be so efficient that their low costs will drive the gov. out of ins. business, right?

Posted by: thor2 | June 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh when I hear people ask "who is going to pay for nationalized health care?" because the answer is we are all paying right now.

Does anybody think a hospital "eats" the costs of those who cannot afford to pay? They don't. They pass those costs along to those who can pay?

Posted by: thomgr | June 11, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

At a minimum, a public plan would act as a benchmark against which the private plans could be compared. This is similar to the way public power (municipals, rural cooperatives, and federal marketing agencies, i.e., TVA, BPA, and WAPA) serve as benchmarks for comparison with investor-owned electric utilities.

We will either need a public plan or an assigned risk pool similar to what we have in automobile insurance. Either way it will require regulation and affect costs.

However, the most important change needed is the one discussed in a column in the Post the other day. The practice of medicine is going to have to change, and the incentives (which means the finances) are going to have to be on keeping people healthy and not only on procedures to treat illness. Also there are estimates that about a third of what we spend on health care is wasted and doesn't lead to better outcomes than less costly approaches.

The reason Obama went to Green Bay is that health care there costs much less than elsewhere and the people are healthier.

This is another case where "The future is already here. It just isn't evenly distributed". (W. Gibson.)

Posted by: StanKlein | June 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Do you support or oppose a public health insurance plan?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=5494

.

Posted by: usadblake | June 11, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

We already have a mandatory public health option. It works very well and is extremely popular. But only the elderly can get it. It's Medicare, of course.

I think the conservative argument against a public option would be a lot stronger if they could demonstrate the failure of Medicare to the general public. But in fact they spent billions of dollars *expanding* Medicare under President Bush, so that would be an awkward argument for them to make.

Posted by: nodebris | June 11, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how any national health care program can work as long as we continue to offer health services to illegal aliens. Hospitals continue to close in California, bankrupted by the non-paying foreign nationals who abuse our system. It will happen in your states, too, unless changes are made.
I am all in favor of a plan to provide health care for our citizens; but we simply cannot afford to provide it to the citizens of Chihuahua and Sonora as well.

Posted by: mipcom | June 11, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Evidently there are some that think there is nothing wrong with paying premiums to a company which makes a profit by denying you coverage or limiting your coverage for the same payment.

Sen. Mike Enzi says it is a "slippery slope to having the government control everything" but he hasn't given up his LIFETIME government run health coverage. Maybe it has been so long since he has had to deal with an insurance bureaucrat that he is forgotten what a pain it is. Maybe he should take a minute and ask his doctor if insurance companies determine treatment.

He and the rest of the conservatives should announce they are going to discontinue their goverment run health insurance program for themselves and their families or shut up.

Posted by: thomgr | June 11, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to bear the cost burden for nationalized health care ? Somebody has to go to work everyday to pay for those that choose not to work or pay taxes.. The solution is simple: If you are able to work and pay taxes you get healthcare. If you opt against going to work and would rather hustle the streets and leech off the system you won't get or that matter deserve anything.

Posted by: rskura | June 11, 2009 2:51 PM

------------------------------------------

Your "solution" is not simple, it's for the simple-minded.

You willfully ignore those who CANNOT work or who have paid into the system previously.

You also ignore the incredibly risky societal consequences of not providing that care whether one can "pay" for it or not.

What are you, an 8th-grade graduate?

Posted by: phoenixresearch | June 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Please nationalize health care. It will save money, help people, get rid of the crooked HMO's, and really torque off the idiot conservatives.

Posted by: rurik | June 11, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's my experience.

I was "retired" at age 60 in 2003 after the major bank I worked for was taken over by another major bank. It was ok with me.

I got a nice severance package, which included my existing health care benefits and COBRA, which took me to within 7 months of medicare eligibility.

I had a major health care provider for years while I was employed - I applied to this same provider for an equivalent policy. I was turned down for "pre-existing condition" reasons.

I knew however that the law in my state required the insurer to sell me a policy because I had one that was ending under COBRA and had had no break in coverage. They did.

The cost was $1,120 per month. Luckily I only needed it for 7 months.

Medicare works and its fine by me. I purchased a supplemental insurance policy (which costs $390 a quarter) and a prescription drug policy (about $32 a month). I still pay the medicare deductible and drug co-pays.

Without Medicare I simply could not afford health insurance and I (and millions of old people) would join the ranks of the uninsured - and my income is higher than the average in my state.

Health care "reform" without a government option is a waste of time and will accomplish nothing.

Posted by: toritto | June 11, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Many Republicans oppose the option, saying it would eventually squeeze private insurers out of business."
********************

What the GOP and insurers (note the linkage and remember the next time you vote) refuse to acknowledge is that the current system as already "squeezed" out the poor and those with less than stellar health. It has single-handedly contributed to more financial distress and disaster than any other factor in the US.

Additionally, the burdens on business are astronomical and debilitating in a global market. Not only does the cost of health care they must pass on put them at a competitive disadvantage with other nations, US business are staffed by people with some of the poorest health in the world, thereby cutting into productivity.

Business should be screaming for universal health care!

Posted by: abqcleve | June 11, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The incompetent in chief goes out and misrepresents what his party is doing and the media lapdogs just regurgitate all the crappola.
Why aren't you media slugs reporting on the details of Kennedy's approach to socialized health care? Right, because it's just what the dumbo in the White House says it's not.

Posted by: LarryG62 | June 11, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to bear the cost burden for nationalized health care ? Somebody has to go to work everyday to pay for those that choose not to work or pay taxes.. The solution is simple: If you are able to work and pay taxes you get healthcare. If you opt against going to work and would rather hustle the streets and leech off the system you won't get or that matter deserve anything.

Posted by: rskura | June 11, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Both JakeD and the white supremacist who killed a guard yesterday at the Holocast Museum both believe that President Obama is hiding something about his background/birth.

I wonder what other views they share...

Posted by: thinman1 | June 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, those opposed to socialized healthcare prevail -- the government should not run all medicine -- if not, we should file lawsuits to delay it as long as possible.

Posted by: JakeD | June 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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