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44 The Obama Presidency

As House and Senate Negotiate, Obama Fine-Tunes His Pitch

By Michael D. Shear and Debbi Wilgoren
President Obama on Wednesday will take his plea for health-care reform to audiences in North Carolina and southwest Virginia, armed with a bullet-point-style message that his aides are hoping will be persuasive.

The re-tooled pitch highlights eight ways that, the White House says, health-care consumers would be treated better by insurance companies if reform efforts pass. It isn't exactly prime sound-bite material -- the catchiest title we could come up with is 'Eight No's, an Extension and a Guarantee,' which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

But the message is the latest attempt by the White House to cut through dense policy discussions in a way that busy, distracted citizens can understand.

Obama is also increasingly adding personal details to his pitch, telling an audience of retirees Tuesday about the experiences of his late mother and grandmother when they were seeking health care and revealing that he and first lady Michelle Obama both have living wills.

As the president tries to sell his reform message, lawmakers from both houses of Congress continue to debate different proposals for how to reform the health-care system. House leaders emerged from nearly seven hours of closed-door talks late Tuesday without a deal, while a bipartisian group of senators
moved closer to consensus.

Obama has struggled mightily to articulate why he believes that people who already have insurance will benefit from changes to the system, which would cover millions of uninsured people and attempt to lower overall health-care costs to the government and society.

On his travels Wednesday -- to an audience at a high school in Raleigh, N.C., and at a supermarket in Bristol, Va. -- the president will unveil the eight-part message, designed to convince the insurance masses that reform will be good for them. Here, according to White House aides, are the key points:

* No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

* No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

* No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

* No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

* No Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

* Extended Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

* Guaranteed Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

Posted at 9:03 AM ET on Jul 29, 2009  | Category:  44 The Obama Presidency
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On the matter of Obama fine-tuning his pitch on insurance:

Are You Disaster Ready? (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.)

What do you expect in case of an insured loss? Who cares?

Excerpt from http://www.disasterprepared.net/whitehouse.html Website:

July 29, 2009 Followup to President Obama

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your response. It is good to hear from you. Your plans are ambitious and I hope feasible.

But, now back to this matter. When might we expect an answer to the question broached many months ago: Who cares about the millions of disaster survivors (not to mention virtually all the population) who have no visible rights and information in their crucial time of need?

Is it still only up to me to rectify, or can you provide imput?

Sincerely,

Antone P. Braga

Posted by: antonebraga | July 30, 2009 6:19 AM

The insurance industry has been spending one and a half million dollars a day. If nothing is done does anyone believe they will not raise rates and drop people even worse then they have before? This is cutting into their profit and these are some very greedy people.
What makes you think that you will be able to afford the coverage you have now if nothing is done? They will cut coverage and raise rates. Your premiums will cost more and cover less and less.

Posted by: seemstome | July 30, 2009 2:50 AM

Republicans will take over again. They always do. They have the full backing of the corporate propaganda machine.
There is a very narrow window for insurance reform and it is closing fast. Big insurance is putting out all kinds of LIES. Obama wants to kill old people, Obama wants to fund more abortions etc.
Insurance corporations would like nothing better than to keep things the way they are. We cannot let this go on.
This will be our only chance for years to come.

Posted by: seemstome | July 29, 2009 10:01 PM

seemstome:

Don't agree. No bill at all is better than a watered down bill that doesn't address the issues.

Better to let it fester.....

Posted by: toritto | July 29, 2009 9:10 PM

Whatever Obama signs will be good enough.
"You can't always get what you want". M. JAGGER

Posted by: seemstome | July 29, 2009 8:35 PM

If the Blue Cross Democrats have sold out the public option to the insurance industry then a progressive caucus should vote it down.

Any bill without a public option is not reform - its B. S.

Better off with nothing than an insurance industry bill.

Posted by: toritto | July 29, 2009 8:17 PM

WAKE UP PEOPLE. Obama's health care program will devastate thousands of blood sucking leeches who live off the pain and misery of poor Americans. Insurance company executives by the thousands will be deprived of their bonuses and their homes in France. Greedy doctors will be forced to sell their private planes. All this for the health and well being of millions of Americans, IT IS OUTRAGEOUS. STOP HIM BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

Posted by: seemstome | July 29, 2009 7:30 PM

The problem is that health care in this country is too expensive. Phil6 does not have the insight to realize that his health care is too expensive. He prefers that you don't think about money so he makes the ridiculous assertion based on his political affiliation that the government will chose your doctor. Phil is not constrained by the facts. His mission win the next election by lying about healthcare.

Healthcare is a complicated subject but there is one thing that is simple. If there is a competitor to the insurers costs will go down. You don't have to chose the government plan. In fact I will not, unless my insurer insists on charging exorbitant prices.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 6:17 PM

The Obama health care reform will devastate this country, restricting access to medical care, creating two levels of care, and costing this nation thousands of jobs!

Wake up, people! This is a disaster in the making!

We have already lost over 20,000 medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs in anticipation of reform. It will get much worse for all medical sales and marketing people if reform passes.

You mat join our discussion of lost medical sales jobs on our blog at http://www.gorillamedicalsales.com/blog

Posted by: medsearch | July 29, 2009 5:57 PM

Move along folks, there's nothing here to see, Obama will be choosing your doctor and they believe they have an opening to see you next March....

Posted by: Phil6 | July 29, 2009 5:56 PM

newbeeboy:
"...will minimum wage workers be forced to pay for premiums or a portion of their employers' premiums.. will some companies be 'better off' to be penalized for not providing coverage, than if they do provide it..."

Since there is no final legislation yet, it's hard to say. But from the pieces and parts floated around, a minimum wage worker will probably be eligible for government assistance (if not outright 100% subsidy) for any portion of the premium they are responsible for.

More unfortunate for minimum wage workers, as usual a well-intentioned policy from Democrats will actually end up costing a lot of them their jobs. Example: a small business which currently employs 10 minimum wage workers, when faced with a 50% increase in the cost of their wages via government-mandated shouldering of their health care premiums, will most likely have to lay off 3 or 4 of the workers to afford paying the insurance for the others.

Democrats (and big-government Republicans) continue to ignore the fact that higher taxes (or government imposed 'fees' or 'fines', which are the same as taxes) change behavior. They always pretend that employers have bottomless bank accounts and will gladly pay whatever costs the government foists upon them.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 4:44 PM

@MadasHelinVA

Do you know why Medicare is able to offer you such good benefits for such low cost? Because Medicare is going BANKRUPT! The expenditures are greater than taxpayer money coming in. Now wouldn't it just be wonderful to have the government run another health care system into the ground.

Posted by: anon07 | July 29, 2009 4:26 PM

also, if I am fat.. and can't lose weight.. am I 'challenged' or 'handicapped'??

Posted by: newbeeboy | July 29, 2009 3:53 PM

I have to assume.. if the insurance companies are forced to treat us better.. they will charge us for doing so.. I like the sound of this.. but I am still personally..skeptical.. like ... it sounds too good to be true..

Also, will minimum wage workers be forced to pay for premiums or a portion of their employers' premiums.. will some companies be 'better off' to be penalized for not providing coverage, than if they do provide it...

??? anyone ???

Posted by: newbeeboy | July 29, 2009 3:51 PM

These eight principles are terrible!!! I don't like them one bit. After all, that means I might not be able to milk every single penny out of the American public for our company's monthly premiums.

It also means that I won't be able to say "CLAIM DENIED" whenever we feel like it, even if the claimant needs that treatment to stay alive.

It also means that I won't be able to say "WE DON'T COVER THAT KIND OF THING" or "YOUR OUT OF POCKET COST IS $150,000" or "YOU'VE REACHED YOUR LIFETIME LIMIT ON THIS PROCEDURE" anymore.

Do you realize that if President Obama and the Democrats succeed at making these changes, I might have to settle for a mere $15 million a year in compensation, as opposed to the $34 million I've been getting for years now? Horrors!!!

So, please, do what you can to stop this terrible plan NOW!

Sincerely,
An Insurance Company Executive

Posted by: snesich | July 29, 2009 2:47 PM

This puts Republicans in a real bind. Can no longer legitimately talk about "government takeover" or a partisan bill. This pretty much is a complete cave to moderates. The public should like this.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 29, 2009 2:46 PM

I can attest to the fact that our 'socialist government-run MEDICARE' works beautifully. After having BC/BS health insurance for over 30 years, I just recently started receiving Medicare and there is nothing better around. It cost me around $370 per quarter, but it basically pays for everything and what it does not pay, my BC/BS picks up. I don't know what changes the government is planning to make to Medicare, but I hope these changes are not major and will be glad to see the particulars.

Only a SINGLE PAYOR system would work in having the FOR-PROFIT insurances corps stop their exhorbitant rip-offs. I can't believe the blue dogs won't sign on to this option, but since they are being BOUGHT &OWNED[esp. Baucus from MT], they may as well be THE 'PARTY OF NO' - REPUBLICANS who want nothing good for the people of this country.

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | July 29, 2009 2:43 PM

Great start, but I was expecting a preventative element in this plan. Obesity and the lifelong problems associated with being dangerously overweight is preventable, yes? http://www.newsy.com/videos/the_weight_of_weight

Posted by: Mizzoutiger1 | July 29, 2009 2:15 PM

WHAT GOOD IS HEALTH CARE REFORM WHEN A SECRETIVE GOV'T PROGRAM IS DESTROYING THE LIVES OF MANY UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICANS?

***

ONE MILLION PLUS...

The number of U.S. citizens estimated to be unjustly "targeted," harassed, stalked, terrorized and financially and physically destroyed by way of a federally-enabled, nationwide, multi-agency coordinated action "program" of extrajudicial targeting -- known to insiders as "The Program."

Or, "The Torture Matrix."

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

***

REVEALED: HOW GOV'T SURVEILLANCE OPERATIVES APPARENTLY DISRUPT AND CENSOR INTERNET POLITICAL SPEECH

See "comments" at:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

(Scroll down for most recent...)

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 29, 2009 2:03 PM

To Goldie

The euthanasia thing you are talking about is that the proposed plan will reimburse doctors for giving Medicare patients the "death talk" once every 5 years. Or, if the senior is really old, or frail, or sick, they will reimiburse more frequent "death talks"

So, Obama's plan finds "savings" by cutting Medicare reimbursements for medical treatment but finds money for the "death talk." This is true, not lies.

If you want to find it in the Bill (H.R. 3200), it starts on page 424 and runs 11 pages. It's called "Advanced Care Planning"

Posted by: harry9 | July 29, 2009 1:52 PM

Oronine asked: "Firstly, can someone please, give me a rational reason as to why Obama would want to raise the cost of healthcare? How does he benefit from it?"

He's buying votes. The only problem is that those of us who will pay for this power-grab are on to him.

Posted by: harry9 | July 29, 2009 1:29 PM

"National Health Care works in other countries like Cuba and Canada and lots of other countries. Citizens seem happy with that. So why won't it work here???"

Fidel Castro flew in a doctor from Spain to treat him for his stomach ailment a year or so ago. And what's the betting the doctor flew in drugs (probably U.S. drugs), equipment, nurses and supplies? The Cuban system is only "good" for the little people who have no choice.

In Canada, the system does sound good --especially when you can come down here for the parts that aren't so good.

Posted by: harry9 | July 29, 2009 1:19 PM

Helping those less fortunate raises our nation to a better standard. We cannot afford NOT to care for all of America's residents.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | July 29, 2009 12:16 PM

___________

this should read "Helping those less fortunate raises our nation to a better standard. We cannot afford NOT to care for all of America's residents ***THAT ARE LEGALLY HERE***

We take care of people who are illegally here every day yet we IGNORE poverty stricken folks here that are legal residents. wheres the compassion in that?

Every day, children are starving; dont have proper clothes; schools arent properly outfitted, or they just dont go to them at all; no running water; little or no medical care, etc. Am I talking about some random country in Africa? no I'm talking about the children of America's poverty stricken both in cities and in rural areas.

every time I see a program about feeding and sending stuff overseas to a third world contry, the first thing I think of is what about the children here at HOME who suffer every day?

charity begins at home. with LEGAL residents that need the help.

Posted by: spaganya | July 29, 2009 1:10 PM

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 29, 2009 1:03 PM

Really convenient that this LOOOONG confusing bill comes just before FLU vaccines. "REPUBLICANS LIE ABOUT REFORM"? hahaha-" Republican plan includes everything Ins. Companies want" ? SO DOES THE DEM PLAN...the only difference is WHO OWNS THE PLAN! Talk about "CAPS"- Go see how B.Hussein Obama is invested up to his eyeballs in BIOTECH COMPANIES. And the brain dead appointment from KANSAS , Kathleen Sebelius ,signed legislation BANNING lawsuits for death and injury caused by the coming FLU VACCINE . NOW GO FIND OUT WHAT CLINICAL DATA HAS BEEN SUBMITTED and ask yourself ," HOW CAN THEY SAY THE BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE RISKS?" Baxter nearly triggered a pandemic in Feb when they sent 72lbs of contaminated material to 16 labs in 4 countries ! You'd like them to be immune from lawsuit?? They should be in jail! You accuse REPs of having some BIGGER THAN LIFE material interest ? YOUR "COST CUTTER" Ezekiel Emanuel and others on the panel lead a propaganda movement for BIOETHICS AND EUTHANASIA HEADQUARTERED AT HASTINGS CENTER . They shape public opinion to accept a death culture . Go see what you are saying before you speak obliviously about tour topic. Novartis C.E.O. Daniel Vassella was at the Bilderberg meeting with the Austrian Chancellor Faymann discussing forced vaccination ... GO SEE WHAT IS IN THE VACCINE AND TRY TO FIND SOME CLINICAL DATA ! EITHER WAKE UP OR SHUT UP!

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | July 29, 2009 12:59 PM

Do not let this subject turn into race. That is to the advantage of Republicans. They have nothing truthful to say against reform.

You would have to be an idiot to think that race has nothing to do with health. It is a factor just like occupation, genetics and hobbies.
Republicans are weakest on policy. They have none. They are best at changing the subject. Let them make stupid racial remarks, respond by bringing it back to health care.

For instance the containment in health care premiums will benefit whites more than blacks. Taking away the monopoly status of the insurers will benefit everyone regardless of age, race, religion or national origin. The only losers will be the special interests and the Republicans. For some reasons Obama's opposition feels that if we all gain, they lose.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 12:55 PM

Most members of Congress are nothing more than tools of the health care industry, thanks to our system of legalized bribery (otherwise known as campaign contributions). President Obama should not only refuse to sign any health care bill Congress comes up with, but should insist that the only bill that will become law during his term is one that extends Medicare health insurance to all citizens, and pays for it through Medicare taxes.

We don't need a health insurance industry that siphons off 30% of our health care dollars for administrative costs, executive compensation, and duplication of effort. Not when Medicare's administrative costs are less than 10%.

Show me where any private for-profit insurance company adds any more value to our health care that we couldn't get by letting Medicare administer health care for all citizens. Show me. I challenge any conservative to show all of us. None of them can, because there is no value added, only dollars diverted.

Obama, stop piddling around and do the right thing. The only thing the Congressional plans do is create a new group of captive customers and pour more money into the insurance company pockets.

The people of this country are getting awfully tired of the corruption in Congress and the poor excuse for leadership exhibited by our elected representatives. Money is not speech. End the corruption called campaign contributions, end the influence peddling, ban lobbyists from Washington, and stop the looting of the American taxpayer.

Posted by: Chagasman | July 29, 2009 12:49 PM

Republicans want Obama's proposed health-care reform to go down in flames. That's to "break him" at his "Waterloo" so the next Dick Nixon or Dick Cheney can be installed at the White House to continue the gravy train for businesses and domestic evil-doers, while the public is distracted with foreign wars. Supposedly death chambers are to be set up in every county (or parish in Louisiana) where The President's Death Czar will send the old and the incurable to be dispatched. This delusion develops from encouragement of the elderly to prepare a Living Will, which is a document in which the person declares how he or she would like his or her end-of-life to be handled. Your average elderly woman, listening to Rush Limbaugh, will conclude that Obama intends to create a Death Czar who will decide when it is time for grandma to go. Well, that's one underhanded typically deceitful right-wing way to battle change that is intended to fix what is clearly broken in good ol' USA. Is it a wonder that the Republican management at the cable TV company can get your bill to you like clockwork, but not fix your cable box?

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | July 29, 2009 12:46 PM

How White Supremacy Dominate the Healthcare Debate

Medical research has found that health disparities fall along racial lines, showing that blacks have a higher incidence of infectious and chronic disease when compared to white populations in the United States. This affectively shows that black health is suffering in disproportionately larger numbers. Historically, being considered property and not human beings, blacks were used by scientists for experiments without informed consent. This did not end with slavery as is noted by the most publicized unethical and racist Tuskegee experiment that took place on 399 black men with syphilis from Tuskegee, Alabama between 1932 and 1972. While Tuskegee remains one of the most widely known medical experiments done on blacks it is by no means the only case. Further evidence of scientific racism from the 19th and 20th centuries include the use of pseudoscientific methodologies like craniometry, eugenics sterilization programs, and intelligence testing.

To this day, whiteness allows whites to deny the fact that blacks remain disadvantage based on historical racism and white supremacist ideology while continuing to actively fight to maintain dominance over people of color, mainly blacks. This dominance plays out in our various institutions, including the United States health care system of the 21st century.

Posted by: demtse | July 29, 2009 12:40 PM

god of war wrote:
But there seems to be nothing to stop insurance companies from raising insurance premiums dramatically in order to provide all these benefits. As it is right now, already, particularly for those who must pay for health insurance themselves, the rates have been going up in the double digits annually; I don't see how this proposal would stop premium rises from accelerating even more, unless the intent is to force people into a government-funded system."
------------------------
What will stop insurance companies from jacking up their rates is a strong national public option which will provide all of these requirements yet not be hampered by seeking profits or paying CEOs lavishly. Medicare and Medicaid pretty much covers all of these requirements, so its not impossible or cost prohibitive, it just won't make you rich!

Posted by: johnnyspazm

-Bingo. godofwar can't see the forest from the trees. As soon as these health companies went on the stock market they no longer had a focus on care, but on dividends. The American people deserve better.

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 29, 2009 12:36 PM

Those that say the government will decide when it is time to die are rebelling against a living will. No one should be forced to have a living will but if you do not express your thoughts completely to those who will decide for you in time of a health care emergency you are not dumping a responsibility that should be yours.

Republicans are confused between assisted suicide and personal responsibility for end of life decisions. Quite frankly their political need to beat Obama distorts everything.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 12:32 PM

The health and reparations bill must be stopped. Read page 881-882 for example, which specifically states that when giving grants and contracts preference will be given to institutions with the most minorities...not those which are more efficient and produce the best healthcare professionals but those with the most minorities!!!? Its institutionalized affirmative action in our healthcare system and his buddy Van Jones(The self avowed communist and our new green dictator...er, i mean czar) has also said that preference should be given to minorities with the green collar jobs they plan to create and fund! President Obama believes in "social justice" by disproportionately benefitting "underserved minorities" and redistributing wealth!

Posted by: cujat13 | July 29, 2009 12:32 PM

"* No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

_________________

Here is where Obama thinks money can be saved, but I would argue on two points. First, giving people free preventive care does not guarantee anything. My husband and I have had free preventive care for the twenty years we've been married....we have not taken advantage of it, because we are healthy. YOu can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Secondly, it is wrong to suggest that preventive care will prevent anything. Preventive care will not prevent cancer...it might catch it earlier, but it won't prevent it. My father is a model of health consciousness: he eats right, he exercises, he doesn't smoke, he's thin...and yet he still had a heart attack.

My point is that you can do everything right and still get sick. AND, offering free preventive care to seemingly healthy people will prevent nothing.

There's plenty of information available out there to suggest that smoking is bad for you, obesity causes lots of health problems, etc. People still smoke, people are still fat.

Until individuals start taking better care of themselves, no amount of health care will prevent anything. It must start with the individual."

You are seriously missing the point. You and your husband have never had a checkup, a physical, nothing? That is part of preventative health care.

There are thousands of kids with asthma, that do not have insurance, who end up in the ER, where it can get very busy at times. A man with a broken leg will take less priority than someone with breathing problems. If that child (or adult) had preventative healthcare, they would have a simple inhaler, (which costs US patients hundreds of dollars (or $10 copay with insurance), but is available in say Mexico, for pennies), they would not be in the ER, and the guy with the leg would not be behind that person for their ills.

Preventative healthcare can catch things early - like skin cancer - which if caught early, can be cut off in outpatient setting; if not caught early, that patient may need chemo, or be hospitalized, or may die. Which do you think costs more?
These are two small examples, I'm sure that there are many many more.

Maybe if your dad had checkups (assuming he didn't), the Dr's may have caught a problem with his heart. (only an example)

A trip to the ER is far more costly in all cases.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | July 29, 2009 12:29 PM

If everyone who supports health care reform would just send ten bucks to HEALTHCARE-NOW, we will have it.

Posted by: smi2le | July 29, 2009 12:20 PM

To Ibralph, you are ridiculous... the insurance companies get to deny coverage to people and you don't care... this board that is being proposed was a Republican idea. It is only bad when it is included in a Democratic bill isn't it? Yes, it is fine for insurance companies to do this because they have to control costs and keep their stockholders and Wall Street happy, but even though Republicans complain about the cost of Medicare, Democrats can't use the GOP idea for trying to reduce costs and improve quality of care over quantity of care without being called killers. Why is your critique based only on what Fox News says? It is just a partisan attack that is why. You are not trying to look for solutions you are just spreading lies and attacks.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 12:20 PM

kimdwoody wrote:
"For those who think a public plan could operate less expensively than private I have some simple math for you to consider. Currently, private insurers significantly subisidize Medicare/Medicaid. For instance they reimburse at rates substantially higher than the government. I think the Senate has realized they are biting the hand that feeds them and that a public option would have to significantly increase their reimbursement for services."
----------------------------------
This just isn't true! Medicare and Medicaid use their bargaining strength as large insurers to get lower rates because they insure so many people which doctors and hospitals want as customers. A public option with 20 - 40 million people will have an even stronger bargaining strength. Private insurers are subsidized by the horribly expensive and ineffective Medicare Part B which cost a lot more than regular Medicare!

Posted by: johnnyspazm | July 29, 2009 12:19 PM

post5811,at 11:14 AM: thanks for your very moving comments.

To me, the human cost to our nation of NOT providing health care to all is simply appaling. For those who worry about the financial costs, it is far more expensive to let a condition worsen until the patient needs to go to an emergency room, than to treat a condition early on. Boosterprez says that she and her husband remained healthy and did not need preventive care. Well, she is quite fortunate; I wish everyone was in that situation.

kathymac1 at 11:42 AM repeats the claim that this bill will deny older people care. Not so; what it does mean is that procedures such as Botox injections, face lifts, etc., are not going to be covered! Nobody will be denied a hip replacement, colonoscopy (my father had one at age 82, and was then operated on for colon cancer), heart bypass, etc.

pattipace7 at 11:47 AM talks about illegal aliens, particularly those with babies with disabilities. Well, I have a child with disabilities, though we are not "illegal aliens"; my daughter has autism and retardation. She's now 22 and had an education at public expense that cost well over the $8000 per year that pattipace7 cites. The result? She is able to work outside the home, pays taxes, and is able to function in society (with help)-- far less expensive to the taxpayer than warehousing her in in some institution.

Where did you get the idea that the majority of children of illegal aliens are disabled? In fact, I suspect that these children are in public schools to a far LESSER degree than the children of citizens. An illegal alien would be too afraid of drawing attention to the family. And believe me, special education places extremely intensive focus on a family.

Helping those less fortunate raises our nation to a better standard. We cannot afford NOT to care for all of America's residents.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | July 29, 2009 12:16 PM

To Kimdwoody: So the private plans can pay more to reimburse at a higher rate and still get an extra 20% for profit... then the government can reimburse at a higher rate and leave out the profit. The reason why the private plans can do that is because they get to exclude really sick people, so they don't have to cover everyone. Anyone who defends private insurance that can leave out so many millions of people in this country, really has no compassion and just cares about themselves. And don't say anyone can go to an emergency room and get care. If you have assets they will come after them and at full price too.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 12:15 PM

Democrats have offered up the Dr. Kovorkian End of Life Amendment where a Death Czar will be appointed to make decision when elderly are reaching End of Life Care. This care has been judged by President and Democratic Leaderhip as a way to help get care to illegal alians if it is denied. Ending lives of the elderly is the thinking democratic leader's choice. President Clinton's campaign sounded It's the Economy Stupid". The democratic campaign today is Death to the Old People. Goodbye old and frail for you are in the way of "Change" and we will change you from alive to dead.

Posted by: ibralph | July 29, 2009 12:13 PM

god of war wrote:
But there seems to be nothing to stop insurance companies from raising insurance premiums dramatically in order to provide all these benefits. As it is right now, already, particularly for those who must pay for health insurance themselves, the rates have been going up in the double digits annually; I don't see how this proposal would stop premium rises from accelerating even more, unless the intent is to force people into a government-funded system."
------------------------
What will stop insurance companies from jacking up their rates is a strong national public option which will provide all of these requirements yet not be hampered by seeking profits or paying CEOs lavishly. Medicare and Medicaid pretty much covers all of these requirements, so its not impossible or cost prohibitive, it just won't make you rich!

Posted by: johnnyspazm | July 29, 2009 12:12 PM

Wow!
All this and all the savings too!
Sounds too good to be true doesn't it?
I would love to see all these improvements and even raise the level of care for the already insured. But someones going to have to PAY FOR IT! I don't believe you Mr. Obama, that somehow the "savings" will pay for it. Please stop telling us that only people making over $250,000 will have their taxes raised. Your starting to make Bush look better.

Posted by: StJohn1 | July 29, 2009 12:10 PM

I'm sorry, but shouldn't the point of heath care reform be to lower the spiraling costs of health care? Of Obama's 8 bullet points, the only one that would help toward that end is increasing coverage of preventative care. The remaining 7 points would all cause drastic increases in the cost of health insurance.
--------------------------------------------

+1

Posted by: mattsoundworld | July 29, 2009 12:09 PM

Hey Dwight Collins... now it is the insurance companies that get to decide when it is your time to die. You have a disease... no coverage. Health care is only for those who don't cost the insurance companies too much. I want to vote them out, not the Democrats. The Democrats are trying to help regular people. The Republicans are trying to help the profit of big companies.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 12:09 PM

President Obama promised in his campaign something very simple. He wanted to cut costs of healthcare, abolish pre-existing condition clauses, and extend health insurance to all Americans at affordable rates. However, with all good intentions, his proposal ran into a wall of corporate money seeking to preserve profits. Now, the bill in Congress is basically so watered down by lobbyists that it's totally worthless. Scrap it, and start all over with Obama's basic proposal. Leave the lobbyists out of it this time.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | July 29, 2009 12:09 PM

For those who think a public plan could operate less expensively than private I have some simple math for you to consider. Currently, private insurers significantly subisidize Medicare/Medicaid. For instance they reimburse at rates substantially higher than the government. I think the Senate has realized they are biting the hand that feeds them and that a public option would have to significantly increase their reimbursement for services.

Posted by: kimdwoody | July 29, 2009 12:06 PM

And to those on the left who want to say shame Obama for not getting the public option... shame on you. Obama isn't a king... he can't demand everything he wants. With all the lies getting spread about health care reform, it is a wonder anything will get done. The media is against him. They are in the insurance industry pocket. The politicians are getting scared because they can't push back against the media and the GOP lies. If the left really wants the public option, then they need to spend big time and big money mobilizing the people who understand the truth to get on the phones... give that money... get the truth out. It is a fight just like an election and Obama can't do it alone.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 12:06 PM

hey baby boomers, with health care reform, the goverment will decide when it's your time to die...
vote them out in 2010...

Posted by: DwightCollins | July 29, 2009 12:04 PM

Yes, the posters here who love the insurance companies, love paying that extra 20% and rising on their premiums to line the pockets of Health insurance CEOs and shareholders. Yet they complained about the Wall Street bailout and the auto company bailout... these posters have no principle except defeat Obama and Democrats. That is all this is about. I don't want to pay that extra 20% for health insurance. Why do you want to donate all that money to them when a government plan can do it so much cheaper and more equitably so care isn't rationed to so many by the insurance company.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 12:02 PM

The President is not going to demand that the Congress establish a public option. Indeed, despite what he told the American people,it has become abundantly clear that the public option was never a priority for this president. He has chosen to settle for whatever the Congress is willing to offer. Another important and unfulfilled Obama promise takes its place on a growing list.

To have a healthcare system that works for the people, a public option is an absolute must. From the start, and I'm talking about even before Barack Obama was elected, we all knew that our Congress, the single most corrupt political institution on the planet, would never accommodate the interests of the people over the interests of their primary client, big business. It was clear that, for the interests of the people to prevail, Obama would have to fight for them and, folks, over and over again, that's just what he said he'd do. That is, after all, why we worked so hard to get him elected.

Remember how many times he looked us in the eye and, so very convincingly, told us he'd be thinking of us when he rose in the morning and when he bedded down at night. Where'd all those good intentions and all that energy go? After all, healthcare is supposed to be this president's pet project, his most important goal, his legacy.

That being so, if Obama does not fight for and bring us healthcare legislation with a legitimate public option, we'll end up with more of the same, but with this exception - the insurance companies and other corporate healthcare interests will be further enriched, at an infinitely greater expense to the taxpayer. It's that simple.

We could never expect President Obama to accomplish everything he promised us but we certainly can, and should, expect him to keep his word on the important issues, to at least fight for what is right. If he fought hard for the people, for a legitimate public healthcare option, and failed to get it, he would still be winner, as far as the people are concerned. If, as is apparent, he's not going to fight for a public option, big money wins and, once again, the American people get the shaft. Shame on you, President Obama, for letting the American people down on the matter of a public healthcare option.

Posted by: sulldeb | July 29, 2009 11:57 AM

If we can not agree on a health care reform then we need to pass a tax on health insurers that increases out of proportion to the rise in their insurance premiums if it is greater than inflation. Then you can be sure they will work for limiting the rising costs of health care.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 11:56 AM

President Obama can fine-tune his pitch all he wants, but each time he does it he becomes more like a snake-oil salesman.

Look at the bullet-point item above: "Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular check-ups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics"

And how are the insurance companies supposed to do that? Oh, I know, they'll jack up premiums--a lot!

President Obama is trying to sell "no bill at point of service" with "no cost". That's nothing but a shell game, and I am insulted that he would think I would fall for that.

Posted by: harry9 | July 29, 2009 11:56 AM

Sorry, guys, but with no gender discrimination the President says you have to get a mammogram every year!

Posted by: magellan1 | July 29, 2009 11:55 AM

To george dixon: who said that Section 1233 of H.R. 3200. required people to discuss death with dignity... it doesn't require it, that word is not in Section 1233. It can be offered every 5 years, and more frequently if health issues arise. It is about a living will... which is a sensible idea, because everyone has different ideas about whether they want to be revived and under what conditions etc. Everyone should have a living will so the doctors know what to do to save your life or not do if you so desire. And it can be a very complicated decision so counseling can be helpful so the person understands what all the options are. See, the Rush Limbaugh people twist this into saying the bill supports euthanasia when it does nothing of the sort. These are lies being promoted by the insurance company/GOP to try to break Obama and kill reform.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:55 AM

But there seems to be nothing to stop insurance companies from raising insurance premiums dramatically in order to provide all these benefits. As it is right now, already, particularly for those who must pay for health insurance themselves, the rates have been going up in the double digits annually; I don't see how this proposal would stop premium rises from accelerating even more, unless the intent is to force people into a government-funded system.

Posted by: godofwar | July 29, 2009 11:54 AM

Nothing is not an option. The insurers are a monopoly and that is a problem that we are all suffering from. Insurers extort money from us all. More each year. The rolls of the uninsured continue to rise. Duplication of testing and unnecessary testing and procedures continue to flourish. We continue to pay a quarter of every insurance dollar for management. Anyone who thinks we can continue to go this way is either ignorant, wealthy or is a beneficiary of the insurers.

What is wrong with having a choice of a non insurance company option? Not insuring leads one to be subject to gauging by health providers.

What is wrong with greater efficiency? The one who benefits is the insured and the one who loses is the provider.

As a physician I am aware that some options out there are better than others but the only thing that is not an option is a single payer system or the continuation of the health insurers monopoly.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 11:52 AM

First self-employed people got priced out of the health insurance market, and I did not protest because I was worked for a big company, and then they came for the retirees, who were promised health insurance at age 60 but companies had to drop it because of the cost. Again I did not protest because I was employed by a big company and my health insurance was safe, and at last health insurance got so expensive that my company dropped it and I was left uninsured and there was no one to help me.

Posted by: KateSaunders | July 29, 2009 11:51 AM

Thanks WaPo, for posting the White House's PowerPoint presentation directly on your website without comment. Unfortunately, distilling the entire Health Care Plan down to 8 talking points for a "distracted" public still doesn't help explain the costs. Few people would argue with the Utopian ideals stated in the Obama PowerPoint presentation (except maybe covering "children" under a parent's plan until they're 26???). It is the COST of the plan, and HOW it's going to be paid for that vexes most skeptics. I think most Americans - Republican and Democrat alike are probably in favor of some kind of Health Care Reform. But citizens are right to be suspicious of a bloated, ill-understood, slap-dash piece of legislation prefaced only by the Obama Administration's used car salesmanship. Americans may be distracted, but we're not stupid.

Posted by: Bosworth2 | July 29, 2009 11:47 AM

KEEP BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS OUT OF HEALTH CARE BILL

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being swayed by the Congressional Hispanic Congress (CHC) to include illegal aliens in the attempt to overhaul our nation's health care. CHC leaders told Pelosi she wouldn't have to change a single thing in the current version of the House bill for illegal aliens to be covered!

The fax at numbersusa dot com will go directly to your Member of Congress, asking them to directly leave out including illegal aliens in the Health Care bill now before the House. Please don't delay, join this website now. This fax costs you nothing.

http://www.numbersusa.com/actionbuffet

“Illegal immigration costs, overall, $346 billion annually, according to economist Edwin Rubenstein at the ESR Economic Research Consultants and published at: www.thesocialcontract.com

Estimates show 300,000 to 350,000 illegal alien women stream into the United States annually to birth their babies upon American soil. Known as “anchor babies” or “jackpot babies”, the average cost of a normal delivery to U.S. taxpayers runs $6,000 to $8,000.

However, if the child suffers from a birth defect such as mio-cardial septal defect, Downs Syndrome, autism or AIDS, etc., the costs run into the millions for taxpayers. Additionally, those babies must be educated at taxpayer expense at $8,000 per year for 13 years K-12.

Their parents never pay enough in taxes because they work as such low wages and half of them work off the books. Thus, according to “Breaking the Piggy Bank: how illegal aliens keep American schools in the red” a study by www.fairus.org , anchor babies cost U.S. taxpayers $7.4 billion annually. That does not include medical care costs that also run into the billions. Finally, more often than most realize, those anchor babies end up in our prisons at a cost of $2 billion annually to house, feed and medically care for them. Illegal criminal aliens consist of 29 percent of our prison populations. (Source: www.cis.org)”

Posted by: pattipace7 | July 29, 2009 11:47 AM

The insurance companies are working with Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to spread lies about health reform.. They say it will kill old people. They call it the euthanasia bill. They twist the language and confuse people. They say it will create long lines and end up with socialized medicine. All lies. People believe these lies, and the mainstream media does nothing to inform people about these lies. They don't explain, they just let the lies go on. I am all for socialized medicine, it is so much cheaper. But I am not going to get that or even a public option to compete with insurance profits and keep costs down. The Republicans talk about controlling costs and then they are worried about the inflated profits of insurance companies and the media is just a tool of every large company and the the GOP.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:06 AM

--
Did you read the bill? I did. It says exactly what FOX news reported. Maybe you should read the thing before commenting on it.

All of you. Go read it. You'll be disgusted with Congress too.

As John Conyers said

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACbwND52rrw

Posted by: debmries | July 29, 2009 11:46 AM

I'm sorry, but shouldn't the point of heath care reform be to lower the spiraling costs of health care? Of Obama's 8 bullet points, the only one that would help toward that end is increasing coverage of preventative care. The remaining 7 points would all cause drastic increases in the cost of health insurance. If you increase the number of people covered and the degree of coverage without doing anything to get to the root of health care costs, it is just going to be an enormous burden on the taxpayers.

We should be trying to make health care itself more affordable first which will naturally make health insurance more accessible to the currently uninsured. We should not be blindly increasing coverage at the current health care costs. All that will do is transfer the costs from the individual to the government which will then transfer the cost to the taxpayers. It just amounts to hand waving without really accomplishing anything!

Posted by: anon07 | July 29, 2009 11:45 AM

The anti-choice Republicans don't believe that all Americans have a right to health care, which means about 17,000 people will continue to die each year who can't afford health care, but they want to force poor women to have babies they don't want, which will result in more deaths from pregnancy and underweight babies, beside costly social programs.

Their religious belief is that aborting a fertilized egg should be a crime but they don't think it's a crime for claims to be rejected by insurance companies for prior medical conditions, which is a death sentence for an actual human being.

Their votes show their approval of death sentences for the poor and for those with religious beliefs different from theirs and for the immoral business practices of insurance companies that donate to their political campaigns so they will continue voting against the poor.

They need to be reminded that Proverbs 16:19 says it's "Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud." They should, also, try to remember the Golden Rule.

Posted by: BettyW1 | July 29, 2009 11:45 AM

What about discrimination against older people, denying them coverage as they are too old, denying them procedures based on cost and life expectancy, got to get rid of the baby boomers some way

Did not see that part on the agenda

Posted by: kathymac1 | July 29, 2009 11:42 AM

As big brother Barrack and his cronies continue to muscle their destructive unconstitutional programs down our throats. Others are making moves to preserve our freedom. Contact your congress person and demand that they co sponsor these measure.
HR 2629, the "Coercion is Not Health Care Act", prevents the federal government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance or conditioning participation in any federal program on the purchase of health insurance.
HR 2630, the "Protect Patients' and Physicians' Privacy Act", allows patients and physicians to opt out of any federally mandated, created, or funded electronic medical records system, repeals sections of federal law establishing a "unique health identifier," and requires patient consent before any electronic medical records can be released to a 3rd party.

Posted by: AtlasShrugged1 | July 29, 2009 11:38 AM

To mmundius
"The biggest problem facing the country to day is the low level of intelligence of its electorate."

It is NOT the "low level of intelligence," it is the low level of PUBLIC Education as controlled by the government and the unions.

Posted by: LilOldRetiredLady | July 29, 2009 11:38 AM

The Republican strategy now is to lie about reform. One person said the the beneficiary of reform are the insurance companies. Republicans have always supported insurers against the lawyers. Now they are suddenly against the insurers. The insurers money is larger than the Republicans integrity.

Besides there is nothing better than being a monopoly. There is nothing better than that except to legislate that every one has to buy insurance from them and not the government.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 11:38 AM

Anyone who is for private insurance over a public option has to admit that it will be more expensive. There is no way to pay large salaries and make huge profits that consume 20% of health care premiums and not cost more than a public plan. So why are all these conservatives who are so worried about costs, wanting the government to subsidize yet another huge for-profit industry? And the insurance companies get to ration care without them blinking an eye. They have long lists of exclusions, some even caps on what they will pay. Yet according to Republicans this is the American way, unless it would be something government would do and if a Democrat suggests cutting costs then it is euthanasia... so what is good for the goose is good for the gander... unless you are an irrational, insurance-funded GOP/Media who believes all the Fox News talking points.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:34 AM

to Jane Carrol

I was certainly not suggesting doing nothing. However, I think that doing nothing would be better than what I have heard thus far.

Members of Congress will always take into account how legislation is going to effect their constituents. Unfortunately contributions play an outsized role, but in the end votes are worth more than gold. When you are dealing with the largest industry in America there are a lot of players that have a lot at stake. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, equipment r&d firms, equipment manufacturers, equipment wholesale and retail, pharmaceutical companies, pharm reps, pharmacists, employees of insurance companies, insurance agents, and many others have their income tied directly to the industry. There are a lot of jobs to worry about in every district. Then you have trial lawyers that are sparing no expense to stave off federal tort reform. Unions that want their plans exempt from any taxing of benefits, and on and on. Then you have everyone else that relies on the system for care.

You have many of the people relying on the industry for their paycheck that see a big haircut coming. You have well connected favorites that will do their best to water down any meaningful reform, and you have a lot of people that are perfectly happy with their health care and are worried about it changing for the worse. This is a tough matter for Congress to act on to say the least. Add on to that the complexity of the situation and the resulting difficulty in creating sound policy, and I am not at all optimistic.

Personally I want to try things like opening up the states so that you can buy policies from anywhere, some serious tort reform, either scrapping the employer provided insurance tax benefit or extending it to individuals, etc... I want to see universal coverage, but not before sensible reforms that are designed to lower costs not increase them.

None of that is going to happen of course, but it is a nice thought.

Posted by: jmcdavisum | July 29, 2009 11:29 AM

Obama is going to do for health care that which he did for the economy......

Rationing, taxes and encouraging the aged to 'move on' is ObamaCare.....

Section 1233 of H.R. 3200. The section, titled “Advanced Care Planning Consultation” requires senior citizens to meet at least every 5 years with a doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss dying with dignity.

Obama thinks the Greatest Generation is taking too long on the planet......

Posted by: georgedixon1 | July 29, 2009 11:29 AM

What Obama wants is health care that begins to be concerned about the needs of people. The system as it now exists centers on the needs of the industry.

Example a physician told a woman who needed to have a procedure for the relief of pain she will have to wait for eleven days because he could not fit her in. What he did not tell her was that there were alternative treatments that could help her without waiting. That is a medical system that operates for the benefit of the provider. Obama will change that because he wants the most effective treatment used not the one that suits the provider.

Insurance companies profit most when the treatment is most expensive because next years premium goes up and so do their salaries and bonuses.

Our system is so directed to the industry, it would be hard to develop a worse system. I knew things were going in a bad direction for my patients back in the early eighties. But I had no idea how bad things were to become. For the insured it is a stupid system. We need to realize that those who talk against Obama are the beneficiaries of the way it is now.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 29, 2009 11:26 AM

Anyone on Medicare who condemns government run health care is a lunatic. They are getting government run health care. And old people could never get health insurance on the private market because they probably all have pre-existing conditions. So, since retired people would not have jobs to give them health insurance, old people would die real fast without government run health care. These Republicans don't have a brain when they spot Rush Limbaugh talking points. I wish the people who hated government run health care and are on government run health care would refuse government run health care. It would save taxpayers a lot of money, that is for sure.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:24 AM

These requirements on Insurance companies will drive up the cost of "for profit" companies which will lead to higher premiums. Will all of these requirements apply to Medicare? I doubt it. The administration wants to take $500 Billion out of Medicare.

Posted by: hendrofl | July 29, 2009 11:23 AM

Excellent. The White House needs to get the CORRECT facts out to the people that are, unfortunately, listening to the GOP rhetoric. It is all of our responsibility to push back on the nonsense and let our elected officials know that Health CARE reform is necessary. claudiatucsonaz

Posted by: claudiam1 | July 29, 2009 11:23 AM

So many Republicans claim they shouldn't have to care about people with pre-existing conditions, that is the fault of the sick person,
--------
liar
I have yet to see a post that says that.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | July 29, 2009 11:22 AM

It's interesting - I've followed political blogs/message boards for about 8 years now - and at no time have self described conservatives ever departed from reality as much as they have now. At least when discussing terrorism and Iraq, there was a logical opposing viewpoint.

Apparently, any idea that is generated from someone who is not a self described conservative is just plain wrong. The problem is, when those ideas make sense, then the arguments against those things can only be nonesense
---
The major view of the conservitives is that there is NO goverment program existing that works. This will be another program that DOESN'T WORK.

Prove them wrong. And back it up with some links showing that the program isn't going broke. Because if it's going broke, it's not working.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | July 29, 2009 11:21 AM

So many Republicans claim they shouldn't have to care about people with pre-existing conditions, that is the fault of the sick person, how could they dare get sick, and why should I worry if they can't get insurance. then these Republicans scream about themselves having to stand in these imaginary lines, and perhaps not get all the tests that they can dream up etc, as if they should be able to have all the health care they demand. I mean, look at what they are saying. They don't care if our health care system kills younger people, but don't kill old people on medicare. You can tell either these people are totally selfish and immoral, or they are just putting out the contradictory GOP/Insurance company talking points.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:20 AM

I am not seeing cost savings in these eight points. Only the preventative care item holds any promise of cutting costs but the other seven add costs from what I can tell.

Posted by: hz9604 | July 29, 2009 11:19 AM

Anyone who thinks that Obamacare will work is nuts! The Gov't has ruined Soc Sec, Medicare and Medicaid. Many working Americans will lose their coverage and be forced into the Gov't run diaster care.

Posted by: liberalview21 | July 29, 2009 11:18 AM

What Obama says is immaterial. The only thing that matters is what is written in H.R.3200 . . . has anyone in the illustrious media read it and analyzed it? If not, isn't it about time somebody told the public the truth? That resolution is the most frightening socialist manifesto I have ever read.

Posted by: rplat | July 29, 2009 11:16 AM

It's interesting - I've followed political blogs/message boards for about 8 years now - and at no time have self described conservatives ever departed from reality as much as they have now. At least when discussing terrorism and Iraq, there was a logical opposing viewpoint.

Apparently, any idea that is generated from someone who is not a self described conservative is just plain wrong. The problem is, when those ideas make sense, then the arguments against those things can only be nonesense.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | July 29, 2009 11:15 AM

Obviously the persons who are bashing these and other proposals already have health insurance, and have fallen victim to the rumor of losing it or having it changed. I would be thrilled to have any type of insurance. And don't dismiss me as not knowing any facts. I understand fully the complex rules of health insurance. I was an HR director for many years. I'm sorry I got laid off. I didn't do it on purpose so that your taxes may be raised. I'm sorry my wife got cancer and cannot be insured. She didn't do it on purpose so your taxes may be raised. I'm sorry I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. I didn't do it on purpose in order to raise your taxes. But it happened. Should I utilize the ER when I need care? Will that lower your premiums or taxes? Should I apply for welfare? Would that lower your taxes? Or would you then just dismiss me as "one of them"? I ask any opponent, what would you like us, the uninsured, to do? I would have never said this two years ago as a highly paid and very well insured individual ,but today, if given a choice, I would prefer to see any doctor over losing one that I may have already established a relationship with. Again, I/we, given a choice would prefer to have any affordable insurance rather than none at all. Given a choice, I would prefer to not have my taxes raised. Who would? The meanspirited, uninformed or just plain stupid persons posting against this reform are selfishly thinking only about themselves and how it affects their wallet. Guess what? So am I. And so are millions of others.

Posted by: post5811 | July 29, 2009 11:14 AM

I think if people understand that the Republicans are all about giving profits to companies even if it costs the taxpayers more, then they will understand why the GOP is spreading lies about a public option. It will be cheaper for taxpayers, pure and simple. Any time you outsource government services to private companies, those companies reap profits and cost taxpayers more. Look at what happened in Iraq. We have paid huge sums to companies so they can make a profit instead of paying soldiers more. This is what will happen with health care costs. Without a public option we will be watching health care costs go up and up and up. We need at least a very basic public plan so people can afford it. Otherwise people can kiss affordable health care in this country goodbye. It will be like gasoline... we will be at the mercy of fat cat insurance CEOs.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:12 AM

Well, it is nice to go on dreaming. These reforms look good on paper. But, do you realize what the insurance companies will charge you in premiums if they have to give you all these benefits?
I do not question his intentions, but Obama should have given this some more time.
It is a fact you cannot find a plan that gives you 100% of everything! But there ARE plans that are just right for you. You just need to choose one, and not make the others pay for it. If you have a pre existing condition, well, good for you! Why should other people pay more for that? And they will, if all these reforms come into play!
Search for affordable plans at www.aafter.com

Posted by: purbam2001 | July 29, 2009 11:12 AM

Whatever happened to the 'government option' ? It's the only way we can keep private insurance honest, ie, if they try to scan consumers, consumers will just move to the government plan. Besides, why should we pay an extra 25% for our coverage so some private company fat cats can earn over a million dollars and fly around in private jets?

Posted by: cpwash

--
You mean like Michelle Obama and kids taking a 2 day sight seeing shopping tour in London ON OUR TAX DOLLARS? Or the President and Michelle flying around the country going out to special diners at $500,000 a diner? You mean like that?

Putting $2.5 Trillion in the hands of one group is insane and will lead to more corruption than you've ever seen. At least now private companies are competing. This is not about healthcare it's a power grab.

Do yourself a favor and check out the Democratic Socialists of America webpage and see where President Obama got his energy, healthcare and union agenda from.

www.dsausa.org/

Posted by: debmries | July 29, 2009 11:11 AM

I always support the republican conservative policies. Stopping government health care is the number one conservative goal. I went on google to learn about problems with government run health care. Believe it or not Medicare is a government run health care program. The republican conservatives want to end Medicare for the elderly because it is government run, socialism.

Posted by: America4Ever | July 29, 2009 11:10 AM

National Health Care works in other countries like Cuba and Canada and lots of other countries. Citizens seem happy with that. So why won't it work here???

----
National health care in CUBA? are you flippen serious?

Ok, here is national health care in cuba. Take one major city, move half of it's hospitol's to the island. There you go dimwit, now cuba has national health care.

How CAN PEOPLE BE SO STUPID to compare Cuba's health care system to United States.

here you go dim wits.
Cuba — Population: 11,423,952 (July 2008 est.)
Population, United States
304,059,724 - Jul 2008

dum dum dum dum. For the dim wits. Big difference

Posted by: LiberalBasher | July 29, 2009 11:10 AM

Talk about health insurane problems! Right before I turned 65 and became eligible for medicare, my husband added me to his insurance through his employer. After I started receiving Medicare and found out that I could keep my BC/BS insurance [which I have had for 30 years] as well as Medicare, we found out that my husband's insurane WOULD NOT ALLOW him to withdraw my coverage - he CANNOT DO THIS UNTIL OPEN SEASON which means they will have received ONE FULL YEAR'S WORTH OF PREMIUMS for my portion without spending one penny to insure me. Talk about BS and MONEY FOR NOTHING - I can't tell you how much anger this has created since we could certainly use that money to live on. We are LIVID, so if you are smart, don't ever take insurance from GUARDIAN INSURANCE. They are far more crooked than most other insurers and that is saying a lot in this day and time!

BTW, this topic should be labeled as 'HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM' AS IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH 'HEALTHCARE'.

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | July 29, 2009 11:08 AM

As someone with 30 years experience in health care I can state categorically that a Public Option does not mean socialism - Medicare is not medical care 'run' by the government - the bond between physician and patient is strong - Payment is 'run' by the government, and it is a great deal more logical than the Private Insurance Industry where the broker takes 20% of the premium off the top, the Insurance company takes another huge chunk, coverage is denied, loopholes and hoops exist to limit access to care, and Bill McQuire at United Health Care gets paid $205,000,000 in one single year - this is a typical deal - the Medical Insurance Industry has driven up costs by over-compensating itself and raising premiums - they are awash in $$$$ -

Posted by: winchestereast | July 29, 2009 11:07 AM

You know, no one is saying exactly WHY Obama's approval numbers are going down. I have my own suspicions and it's not what the Repuglicans would be honest enough to admit.....The President's numbers are likely going DOWN because the 72% of Americans WHO WANT HEALTH CARE REFORM are seeing that Obama has been a bit ineffective in getting it DONE. It's becoming a little less likely that a robust reform bill might pass. I REALLY THINK THAT IS WHY THE NUMBERS HAVE DROPPED and NOT for any Republicans stupidaxx opinions about spending too much Federal money. The people WANT HEALTH CARE REFORM IN A BIG WAY and NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jordan77 | July 29, 2009 11:07 AM

The insurance companies are working with Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to spread lies about health reform.. They say it will kill old people. They call it the euthanasia bill. They twist the language and confuse people. They say it will create long lines and end up with socialized medicine. All lies. People believe these lies, and the mainstream media does nothing to inform people about these lies. They don't explain, they just let the lies go on. I am all for socialized medicine, it is so much cheaper. But I am not going to get that or even a public option to compete with insurance profits and keep costs down. The Republicans talk about controlling costs and then they are worried about the inflated profits of insurance companies and the media is just a tool of every large company and the the GOP.

Posted by: goldie2 | July 29, 2009 11:06 AM

@changewhat:

No smart leader makes decisions on daily blips of opinion polls. Obama knows he has to sell his plan. I am willing to read about it and make a decision of whether it is good or bad without reading an opinion poll. I think using independent thought and reason is an admirable thing. You should try it.

Posted by: Cyclopsina | July 29, 2009 11:06 AM

Two posts that merit repeating:

Instead of listening to carefully crafted Obama talking points - people should be studying the current bills and asking hard questions - that probably no one can answer. Then maybe you will understand why there is a health dose of skepticism and resistance to this plan.

Posted by: sandynh

and

What you WILL lose at MINIMUM.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/24/news/economy/health_care_reform_obama.fortune/index.htm

Posted by: StandAgainstSocialism

I read that article, and it does make one rethink their support of the plans currently on the table...and if they don't cause you to pause for a moment, you are likely going to blindly and trustingly support whatever plan the President and liberal democrats put forth.

Thinking for oneself is a much more noble attribute than blind loyalty.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 29, 2009 11:01 AM

scrivener50 your delusional and need to take your meds. With all the problems we have in this country you want to demonize young people who actually want to volunteer in a country that has not looked out for there future what so ever. People like you are the people we should be afraid. How has democracy and human rights, the rule of law worked for you the trickle down way?

Posted by: sondysue819 | July 29, 2009 11:00 AM

Bold prediction: Obama’s approval ratings on health care rise in the next round of polls after his intense pushback again st GOP smears.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 29, 2009 10:59 AM

Whatever happened to the 'government option' ? It's the only way we can keep private insurance honest, ie, if they try to scan consumers, consumers will just move to the government plan. Besides, why should we pay an extra 25% for our coverage so some private company fat cats can earn over a million dollars and fly around in private jets?

Posted by: cpwash
************************************************************************

Baucus happened and millions of dollars a day are flooding in to prevent Congress from doing the right thing for all Americans in favor of a few executives who take in "blood bonuses" for denying care to premium paying clients. It really works out in certain people's favor to extend the process for another few weeks, months, years so they can pocket huge sums of money to hear their side of the issue.

Our for profit health care system makes us less competitive in a global economy. Get with it Congress!!!

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 29, 2009 10:58 AM

FED-BACKED VIGILANTES INFILTRATE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AS PART OF EXTRA-LEGAL 'TARGETING' OF U.S. CITIZENS?

• Victims of multi-agency coordinated action "program" say "YES -- calling into question the quality of their care.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 29, 2009 10:58 AM

The Replublican plan includes just about everything insurance companies want. For example, a Republican recently said he wants the plan to permit purchasing insurance across state lines in the interest of reducing costs. Sounds good on the face of it. The insurance companies would love that change.

Right now, if they want to sell insurance in a state they must have a presence there which is regulated by that state's consumer protection laws and regulations. Let people buy across state lines and the companies can remove that presence and relocate to a backwater state with no consumer protection regulations. Have a problem with the insurance company? You will have to go to that state for resolution and you will be screwed.

Posted by: thomgr | July 29, 2009 10:57 AM

This whole idea of Health Care Reform is neither Health Care nor Reform. Don't get me wrong, I am all for Reform. However, true reform will address the ridiculous mal practice claims, look at all the misuse and over use in the system. Reform will also center on transparency.

For those of you reading that are not from the US, please keep in mind a few points of our system which is vastly different than yours. First of all, our doctors have to pay $300,000 plus for their education. Second, hospitals are For-Profit. Third, there is no transparency in the system. So a heart surgery at one hospital could cost completely different than the same procedure at a hospital down the street. I could go on.

The government can't even get their arms around the control of Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. So how are they going to get their arms around this? They just approved a huge tobacco tax increase to pay for SCHIP and now they are thinking of redoing that program? Crazy! Each state in this country has different mandates. So by offering a Federal program, how are they going to address each state? This is such a three headed monster that needs time to review.

One more point everyone should be aware of (including those who are from other countries) - MA is the only state with mandatory coverage for all. It was pushed through the legislature and riddled with problems. Three years later, a lot of the problems have been fixed but not all. Also, there still remains 10% of the population uninsured because these folks simply don't want it. The cost for this project far exceeded what was budgeted. This country will be in debt for the next century with all the spending this government is doing.

Posted by: CrazyWorld1 | July 29, 2009 10:56 AM

@boosterpre

I am aware that it is my taxes that pay for the healthcare thank you, but I guess you can see how much of an impact that cost has given that I referred to it as "free".

Posted by: oronine | July 29, 2009 10:54 AM

Medicare works - a public option made available to all workers would free small and large business to hire, raise wages, invest - towns would find similar funds if freed of employee and retiree health costs - we already pay into the health insurance system and instead of getting coverage, we give $205,000,000 to the head of United HealthCare in 2005, multiple millions to each insurance industry executive - The Insurance Plan will reduce fees to actual providers of care, not the paper pushers who siphon off 30% of every dollar spent - Let's get real and get behind the public option now - no one denies Medicare patients their choice of doctor, no one limits their access - If Public Paid Health Care is good enough for everyone on the hill, in the service, over 65, why not the rest of us? A millionaire 3% sur tax will cover most of the cost, the elimination of the 30% now spent on Insurance executives will cover the rest -

Posted by: winchestereast | July 29, 2009 10:54 AM

I like this approach :) If we're not going to have a federal option, then lets write laws to ensure that the health insurance companies provide the services that a Federal option would provide. NO side agreements, no false promises - laws!

The only disagreement that I have: pre-existing conditions should Not affect the cost of individual coverage, it should be part of the 'groups' coverage. Eg. if I'm 35 and a diabetic, my insurance payment should be the same as a similar 35 non-diabetic - that's what 'group' coverage is supposed to do.

Posted by: stodayxx | July 29, 2009 10:53 AM

Let me get this straight. The Republicans want to set up a co-op which will be run by insurance companies because they know how to manage health care insurance. The government would then regulate the insurance companies.

Great!!! Next, we should have Al Quada run the Dept. of Homeland Security because they know how to breach security fields and the government can regulate them.

Posted by: thomgr | July 29, 2009 10:50 AM

. In 1994 Tennessee implemented managed care in its Medicaid program, creating a system known as TennCare. The objective was to use the anticipated savings from Medicaid to fund and expand coverage for children and the uninsured. The result was a program that nearly bankrupted the state, reduced the quality of care, and collapsed under its own weight.

Posted by: wodon1836 | July 29, 2009 10:48 AM

For profit health insurance is immoral. The guy standing between me and my healthcare gets a 1.3 billion dollar bonus if he can figure out how to cut the risks. We give Isreal billions and they have universal health care--but we don't. All health insurance companies should be deemed non-profit. Easy. End of story.

Posted by: transparency1 | July 29, 2009 10:43 AM

What congress is working on is companies not longer have to provide you with an option for medical coverage even retirement coverage.

You will no longer get a group rate and be on your own with all the crooked health folks taking your $. When sh*t hits the fan congress will bail out the health industry that lobbied politicians that caused this mess and we will bail them out with your tax dollars. If you are sick in the hospital and the health industry files bankruptcy, you will loose your home and saving after paying in for yrs.

Posted by: billisnice | July 29, 2009 10:41 AM

These "conditions don't require Government run health insurance to provide. My insurance already covers pre-existing conditions - this is a smoke screen. THere is one section of the current bill in Congress that talks about Retiree Reinsurance - i.e. buying out existing retiree health plans - are we also going to be subsidizing the UAW retirees under Obama Care?
Instead of listening to carefully crafted Obama talking points - people should be studying the current bills and asking hard questions - that probably no one can answer. Then maybe you will understand why there is a health dose of skepticism and resistance to this plan.

Posted by: sandynh | July 29, 2009 10:39 AM

This incompetent bozo lies about most everything.
He's going to add 47 million to health care rolls, including illegals, and not raise taxes or increase costs.
What a pile of B.S. from the phony who makes Bill Clinton look honest.
What a disgrace.

Posted by: LarryG62 | July 29, 2009 10:38 AM

To: applachianMD, thank you for the light you have shed on this issue.

I just wished more of us would talk about the many millions (in the middle class) who have been rejected by the marketplace. The dialogue on public/private partnership continues, but why so little emphasis on competition. People will still have a choice. Let public option be one of them. We can only keep the 'pressure' on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m32iJgIpyL8

Posted by: Victoria5 | July 29, 2009 10:36 AM

To jmcdavisum,

Oh, and not doing anything is going to really help?

I certainly know how complicated all this is, and as far as I'm concerned, the absolute most problematic part of this equation IS THAT...

CONGRESS IS BOUGHT-OFF BY THE MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.

Posted by: janecarroll1 | July 29, 2009 10:34 AM

This is a lie. Congress is tearing the bill apart. He need to go to school and understand how congress and the prez works. Much of the above is not mentioned in the bill except "pays their premium or no insurance."

What he is saying is what he wants you to think not what congress will pass.

Ins companies have to abide by yearly caps? Like AIG they will ask for more and we will be in a mess cuz they will give congress millions in lobby $.

Posted by: billisnice | July 29, 2009 10:33 AM

There is a recent string of commenters saying that people that are not buying into this are uneducated doops. I would counter that if you are buying this you have a very simple idea of how the health care system works. Trust me if you don't work in it day in and day out for several years you are not "educated." It is a hugely complex system and a hugely complex problem we are looking at. You have to dumb it down to a certain extent to sell to the public, but these points coming with the promised goal of making the currently insured better off are just plain deceitful.

Posted by: jmcdavisum | July 29, 2009 10:27 AM

These are hardly the critical assurances most people are looking for. No promises your company won't drop private healthcare and throw you into the public plan. No promises you will keep your same doctor if your company cuts off the private plan. No promises about keeping costs and taxes down. No promises the elderly will maintain their quality of care. No promises to prohibit healthcare rationing. No promises about access to advanced tests and procedures. No talk of tort reform. Looks like 8 shallow points that no one is really concerned about and just ignoring the really hard questions that most people are wondering about.

Posted by: kilgore_nobiz | July 29, 2009 10:25 AM

To the commenter using Money Magazine as a reference: Ha-ha-ha.

Who do you think they're rooting for? You? Hardly! They're cheering for the big boys on Wall Street. Not you. So, think again.

Oh, but then...maybe you're an insurance agent or a blogger for one, in which case, you may have a financial stake in taking advantage of a for-big-profit healthcare system. Good luck.

Posted by: janecarroll1 | July 29, 2009 10:21 AM

Fine Tunes his Pitch???

You mean retreats as his plan falls apart!!

He promised a Bill before August recess! He promised no more debt!

He promised no government system? So his idea of fine tune is to stop calling it "government run" - now censored among democrats??

No free speech here!!


Posted by: hotdad14 | July 29, 2009 10:19 AM

Insurance Company profits and dollars spent to lobby congress are tremendous. If we had a single payer (government) insurance without those expenses, we could cover everything! But that won’t happen since insurance companies own congress. The American people will get a health care plan that keeps the insurance companies in the money. They are making sure that we will have to continue to provide them with their profits, lobby money, and advertising costs, marketing costs etc. and … Oh, yes, still provide coverage to the American people (unless you get sick and they have to use some of their profits to pay your bills). Their lobby is very powerful and they will spare no expense to sabotage reforms that will benefit you (not them). Be careful who you listen to, it may be the insurance company propaganda. (Like the Lewen group that most republicans reference). The Lewen group is part of United Health Care. Wake up, you are getting fed typical republican scare tactics.

Posted by: Lib1 | July 29, 2009 10:19 AM


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 29% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10. The President’s Approval Index rating is down four points over the past week and 11 points over the past month.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | July 29, 2009 10:16 AM

So, pass a law enforcing these "bullet points." We don't need a government run system.
For those that do not have a policy, let them come forward and buy them whatever they want. The cost would be 1/10th of the current proposal.
This seems to be about government control and taxes. Oxymoron: it's going to cost us $2,000,000,000,000 to reduce our health care costs.
To paraphrase the President: maybe we should all just take the pain pills (ah, National Socialism).

Posted by: mikehester | July 29, 2009 10:14 AM

WHOA!

I APPLAUD OBAMA; he's doing what he said he would do--fight for health care for all Americans. With the current system, we are all just one day away from no health care at all, ...and that is frightening.

Once the health industry went on to the New York Stock Exchange, health care began to skyrocket around 1990. Check the stats. Currently, health care companies are all about providing the stockholders with lots of cash, and who cares at whose expense that comes--(cuz it's at our expense.) Watch the story about this with whistleblower, Wendell Potter, VP with Cigna HC.: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html

Obama is doing a great job! He is pursuing this badly needed health care reform for all Americans, and he's doing it while having to deal with a bought-off CONGRESS, who takes a ton of money from the Medical Industrial Complex.

But someone has to do something. We currently pay $2.4 Trillion each year--one way or another (thru premiums, deductibles, state taxes, federal taxes), and wouldn't it make sense to offer a non-profit/public option health care where monies are NOT GOING to multi-million dollar CEO salaries, TV advertising for drugs, 'donations to Congressional campaigns, kickbacks to doctors, profits to shareholders, etc., etc. There is a lot of money to be saved by offering a public option/non-profit, and we should all be out there calling Congress and talking to neighbors and saying as much.

OBAMA IS DOING A WONDERFUL JOB FOR HIS COUNTRY. WHAT A GREAT PRESIDENT WE HAVE. I THANK GOD FOR HIM EVERYDAY. It will take a lot of work to overcome the condition in which our country is finding itself.

Posted by: janecarroll1 | July 29, 2009 10:11 AM

Why the Party of No says No to Health Care Reform
The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the debate as much as the Lewin Group, a consulting firm whose research has been widely cited by opponents of a public insurance option.
To Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, it is "the nonpartisan Lewin Group." To Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it is an "independent research firm." To Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the second-ranking Republican on the pivotal Finance Committee, it is "well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country."
Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers.
More specifically, the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association, a physician's group, of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the "usual and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care.
In January, UnitedHealth agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New York attorney general and a $350 million settlement with the AMA, covering conduct going back as far as 1994.

Posted by: sherardg | July 29, 2009 10:11 AM

Obama doublespeak:

"Reform" - 100% government takeover of health care

"Public option" - temporary phrase used to allay public fear of "reform"

"Competition" - the systematic driving out of private insurers through subsidized "public option" thereby achieving reform

Posted by: StandAgainstSocialism | July 29, 2009 10:10 AM

I think it is rather for Obama adminsitration to pitch this as a healthcare reform. Obama can show his leadership by vetoing it. This bill does nothing except to take money away from poor and elderly. If he accepts it, he will not have my vote on anything the administration does.

Posted by: kevin1231 | July 29, 2009 10:10 AM

Posted by: StandAgainstSocialism | July 29, 2009 10:08 AM

"I'm from the UK and we have free healthcare"

Your health care is NOT free...you pay for it with increased tax rates. No country has free healthcare...it is just paid for with higher taxes.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 29, 2009 10:06 AM

If you believe you will lose your health insurance or job (so they don't have to insure you) when your family has a hugely expensive illness, you should be for the public option health plan. That's how insured people are helped. For most of them (not congress, of course) their insurance is an illusion which can and often is canceled when illness comes. The present health care system protects only the rich from bankruptcy. The rest will just lose their insurance.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | July 29, 2009 10:03 AM

If Congress has to use whatever system they come up with, I'd probably support it. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. If not, people will be queued up for months waiting or treatment. Six months for a hip replacement in Canada? No thanks. They can keep those wait times.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | July 29, 2009 10:01 AM

I think Congress would be much more successful winning constituent support for health care reform if they did it in steps:

1)Figure out how to pare down the 46 million uninsureds. 10 million can afford health care but choose not to purchase it. Incentivize health care purchase through the tax code. Currently the tax code unfairly treats individual purchase, but incentivizes employer-provided insurance. Provide some parity and allow individual purchasers to claim their premiums as a health exemption (limits would have to be enacted, but reasonable ones). This would allow those not eligible to itemize to still claim the exemption.

2) Approximately 5 million uninsureds are eligible for a public plan (Medicaid or SCHIP) but haven't signed up yet, so are likely using the emergency room as their health care provider. Use the emergency room as a sign up facility.

3) To pay for some of this, put a cap on the allowable deduction for employer-sponsored plans. ANything over and above an average plan cost would be taxed as income. This might encourage employers to stop offering the cadillac plans, and individuals would have to be responsible for a portion of their health care through deductibles and co-pays. Without some employee investment in health care, these plans get taken advantage of and raise health costs.

4)Encourage HSA accounts. These are formed with pre-tax dollars as deductions from a paycheck. People think twice about whether that sore throat really warrants a visit to the doctor when they know that the visit will require money from their own pockets.

5) Stop allowing illegals to use our emergency rooms for health care. If we're going to treat them, set up health clinics that are staffed by medical interns. Bar these clinics from medical malpractice suit vulnerability. Make this service mandatory for all interns to become doctors...in exchange for their service, subsidize a portion of their tuition costs.

These are just a few ideas I've had that could be implemented rather quickly (the "public option" is at least five years down the road, even if it's voted on and passed today).

People are afraid of change...baby steps...logical baby steps that address pressing needs first...would likely be more palatable to Americans.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 29, 2009 9:59 AM

responding to mrteachwv12, and commenting on cost: Of course not all americans will make use of preventative care, and preventative care can obviously not prevent cancer. The point (from an exclusively economic perspective) is this: those people who do not make use of preventative care will not get money for preventative care--this is no change from the current system. Those people that do will, on average, need less money for health care. For example, someone with Diabetes will need less money to get regular foot check-ups than to have his leg amputated at the ankle. This will, not in every case, but ON AVERAGE save money. Thus, the overall system will need less money than the current system.

In response to the random abuse of power comments: those have nothing to do with health care. Stop being petty.

Posted by: sm73 | July 29, 2009 9:59 AM

I can't get over how blissfully ignorant some of this comments are.

Firstly, can someone please, give me a rational reason as to why Obama would want to raise the cost of healthcare? How does he benefit from it?

Secondly, people need to learn what actual socialism is.

Thirdly, I'm from the UK and we have free healthcare and yes there are problems but they are far outweighed by the wonderful benefits. The NHS is one of the greatest achievements of this country and there are other counties (such as Canada and Cuba) that prove free healthcare for those not in a position to afford it does work alongside private coverage.

America can be applauded for many wonderful accomplishments but the biggest thing you are laughed at by the rest of the Western world is your approach to diet and healthcare.

Your nation is being strangled by insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.

Posted by: oronine | July 29, 2009 9:56 AM

Obama is fighting the fear mongers, people duped by pharmaceutical/medical industrial/insurance-backed lobbyists and politicians who are obviously not looking after the best interests of the American people. One would have to be ignorant, cynical, or both, not to see how lousy our health care system is and how reform is way overdue. What Obama proposes is a brilliant system whereby the citizens (except the very rich who will face higher taxes) will find health care more affordable and more efficient, and the pharmaceutical and insurance companies will find real competition and incentives to not fleece their customers. To boot, these reforms will help reduce the budget deficit over the long term! C'mon people, get informed, get educated - it's in your best interest!

Posted by: AJBF | July 29, 2009 9:49 AM

This doesn't sound like much...

Posted by: robinhood2 | July 29, 2009 9:47 AM

The biggest problem facing the country to day is the low level of intelligence of its electorate.
It amazes me how corporate machine controlled by so few is empowered by the ignorance and stupidity of the electorate. All of you against the single payer or a solid public option are just plain air heads. You have not conducted any research to see the macro cost benefit analysis to our economy. If you did you will be ashamed not to support President Obama’s efforts to steer the nation away from the medical cost titanic.

Posted by: mmundius | July 29, 2009 9:46 AM

EXCELLENT PLAN- Thank God for PRESIDENT OBAMA. Happy to see my tax dollars doing something good for the taxpayers-
Everybody hates the typical insurance companies.

To all that gripe and moan like BinLimbahh tells them to...you're irrelevant.

Posted by: ssunn4 | July 29, 2009 9:45 AM

Obamacare is starting to look like a bad idea. Lets see:

He's trying to remove coverage for seniors by limiting Medicare. Obama claims this is not the case, but legislators can't duck by setting up a 'base closing commission'.

Whatever happened to the 'government option' ? It's the only way we can keep private insurance honest, ie, if they try to scan consumers, consumers will just move to the government plan. Besides, why should we pay an extra 25% for our coverage so some private company fat cats can earn over a million dollars and fly around in private jets?

Posted by: cpwash | July 29, 2009 9:45 AM

It's sad that Obama has to break these things down into bullet points in certain areas of the country. But hey if Republicans can claim this style of 2 sheets of paper for reform for a trillion dollar issue is a real alternative to the Democratic plan that uses these weird symbols called numbers then I guess it's ok to fight fire with fire. Of course if the Democrats do it the Republicans will scream that 2 sheets of paper isn't reform!!! Where's the numbers??!?

The dumbing down of America continues.

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 29, 2009 9:43 AM

Here's a suggested title

"Eight points to raise Heathcare costs"

Posted by: bruce18 | July 29, 2009 9:37 AM

National Health Care works in other countries like Cuba and Canada and lots of other countries. Citizens seem happy with that. So why won't it work here???

Posted by: mrteachwv12 | July 29, 2009 9:36 AM

* No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

_________________

Here is where Obama thinks money can be saved, but I would argue on two points. First, giving people free preventive care does not guarantee anything. My husband and I have had free preventive care for the twenty years we've been married....we have not taken advantage of it, because we are healthy. YOu can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Secondly, it is wrong to suggest that preventive care will prevent anything. Preventive care will not prevent cancer...it might catch it earlier, but it won't prevent it. My father is a model of health consciousness: he eats right, he exercises, he doesn't smoke, he's thin...and yet he still had a heart attack.

My point is that you can do everything right and still get sick. AND, offering free preventive care to seemingly healthy people will prevent nothing.

There's plenty of information available out there to suggest that smoking is bad for you, obesity causes lots of health problems, etc. People still smoke, people are still fat.

Until individuals start taking better care of themselves, no amount of health care will prevent anything. It must start with the individual.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 29, 2009 9:34 AM

Each one of these items will raise the cost of health care. Why does Obama keep telling us the current system is unafforadable and then make proposals that only add to the cost? His eloquence cannot hide the truth.

Posted by: bruce18 | July 29, 2009 9:33 AM

50 BILLION FOR THE UAW, 35 BILLION FROM MEDICARE.

It's called "redistribution".

Posted by: IanGilbert | July 29, 2009 9:30 AM

Bait & Switch, Gates was the bait, this misrepresentation of Obama care is the switch. Shame on this socialist for what he and his administration and his party and his complicit media are doing to our republic.!

Posted by: gbnashe | July 29, 2009 9:28 AM

TO THE MODERATOR, NOT FOR PUBLICATION: Please remove the following entry, which does not meet your standards, from your site ASAP:

Will someone please tell the Kenyan to shove his health care takeover up his a**!!!

Posted by: charko825 | July 29, 2009 8:18 AM

Posted by: nrosenwasser | July 29, 2009 9:17 AM

How "stupudly" does Obama think the American people are? This is nothing more than promising "a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage." Unless he clearly delineates what people have to risk or lose -- or who will pay for this and how, he is sending a feel-good message with no substance.

He isn't saying that the size of the chicken will be smaller, and that the government will own the pot, and that the garage is apt to collapse in the next big wind -- because it is being financed with little more than confiscation of assets from a few and hope for every good possible recovery element becoming reality.

Health care reform is a critical issue to every American -- we deserve clarity through open and honest discussion --not just the goodness that may come.

This is pandering. This is worthless. This is deperate. This is undignified for the President of the United States.

Posted by: DOps | July 29, 2009 9:17 AM

we will pay more and get less. Only Obama thinks that government can do something better than the private sector. He has an agenda and it does not include the middle class and up. Wake up sheeple. This is a huge welfare program and you are going to pay for it.

Posted by: loudountaxrevolt | July 29, 2009 9:15 AM

Fear that President Obama believed his press that he acquired during his campaign --- BUT, HE IS NOT THE SECOND COMING!!

Someone on his staff needs to remind him of a basic American promise: THAT AMERICANS ARE PROMISED LIFE, REPEAT LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!

Some of the teachings Obama may have picked up from his left leaning profs need to be left in the classroom.

Aside from his ‘EIGHT POINTS’ why has he shied away from:
* TORT REFORM? (That would save billions)
* Selling health insurance across state borders? (That would cause increased competition and save billions of taxpayer dollars)
* Clean up fraud, waste, and abuse from MEDICARE & MEDICAID? (This would include ceasing the give aways of 'scooters from the SCOOTER STORE') Why in the world should we trust the government to administer nation wide health care when they cannot even clean up the current mess of fraud and waste??
*Why is there main cost savings centered on the elderly with their IMAC (deciding who lives and dies), and counseling on death? A growing number of Americans have living wills, but we do not need Obama and the Mrs. telling us what we should do and when we should 'check out'.
* Why can the president and members of Congress not have the decency to at least read the laws they are attempting to cram down the throats of the citizens (i.e., President Obama's comments on July 22, and John Conyer's comments on July 27)? They might just learn something.

President Obama has -- in my opinion -- grossly overestimated his sway over America. When one assumes they have the authority to make life and death calls on their citizens they are sworn to protect, then there is a BIG PROBLEM.

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS A BIG PROBLEM!!

Posted by: wheeljc | July 29, 2009 9:13 AM

Wodon1836:"Someone asked me. "Why should everyone be guaranteed free health care?

Someone asked you and this is the best that you can do: "..if we guaranteed to people goods and services they could not afford..."

Your problem is obvious, health care is not a "good or service." Its life or death. So in your world people should die because that can't afford your "good or service." I don't think anyone in their right mind would call a country that treated its citizen this way Great. So tell me why do you hate your fellow Americans so much and by extension why do you hate this country? After all we are nothing without our people but you hate them so much that you would let them die in the streets because they can't afford to pay a $1000 a month for insurance. You are a very sad sad person.

Posted by: henk2 | July 29, 2009 9:05 AM

Those of us in the military wish to thank the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces, each Military Service Chief, the Secretary of Defense, Members of Congress and the President for the following:

Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston told a key House subcommittee last week that access to quality health care was the most pressing issue for military families and that the root of the problem lies in “finding health care providers who take TRICARE.”
Rep. John Fleming, R-La. and a physician, couldn’t have agreed more. Recalling his own experiences at the hearing of the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, Fleming said, “Reimbursement was horrible. Often, we didn’t get it at all.” Because of that many doctors did look at serving TRICARE patients as “charity work.”
Complicating matters now is that on military bases, care is becoming more difficult to receive because of continued deployments of doctors, nurses, medics and counselors, Fleming added.
“That’s the challenge we’ve been dealing with, SMA Preston said. “Many [doctors] were left with a bad taste in their mouth for late payments” in the United States and even slower payments to German health care providers who are treating soldiers’ families stationed there. “There are gaps and seams out there.”
Rep. Fleming told his fellow committee members that doctors ranked payments this way” private insurance was best, then came Medicare, third came Medicaid and lastly TRICARE. “It really comes down to how timely the pay is made and how adequate. There comes a point when you can’t afford it.”
Preston said he sat down with the TRICARE management team and discussed what was done to restructure and streamline the process. Although it has made significant advancement, he said the program still has gaps that need to be fixed.
In keeping with the sprit of the above the same people, without prior notice dumped ALL military retirees and many active duty families onto the civilian healthcare system with the statement that it was up to them to find their healthcare. With few exceptions ALL retirees were further dumped onto Medicare again with no other means, except to go to the Medicare website, to find a physican.

Again we thank all of you. Especially those Members of Congress (which is all of them) who are allowed FREE access to military hospitals ahead of military personnel.

Posted by: KBlit | July 29, 2009 9:04 AM

Each of the eight ways will lead to higher premiums for everyone. Will that be mentioned in the town hall meetings?

Posted by: Economistfish | July 29, 2009 9:01 AM

The health insurance companies control medicine- who gets it, what they charge the consumer, what they will pay for, how much they will pay the doctors.

Medicare, Military medicine, the Veterans program are government programs that work. Each individual in those programs can choose a private insurance plan. Not many people choose those when given the choice. As a physician who has worked with all of the programs, the quality of medical care is no different. Why shouldn't people under 65 have the same choice as those who wait to retire until 65-just so they can get Medicare?
Private payors will always be available- they just won't completely control, bankrupt and refuse treatment to those people who are under 65. You can chose public school for your kids or private school- why not public insurance or private insurance?
To pay for it- close the loop holes in the Stark laws which are meant to prevent self referals and aggresively prosecute rampant health care fraud. So far- no one want to close the loop holes in the Stark Laws. There is plenty of money to be had to pay for this.

Posted by: appalchianMD | July 29, 2009 8:56 AM

although i disagree with his proposal,the postings of fools domestic and foreign are,using one of obies words STUPID.move to one of the countries u so admire,and the loonies stay where they are,and enjoy all the wonderful programs they provide

Posted by: pofinpa | July 29, 2009 8:47 AM

Q - Who are the big winners with health care reform?

A - The insurance companies come out on top...way on top.

Posted by: Maddogg | July 29, 2009 8:36 AM

Impressive. But where's the money going to come from? Well, one place is that if insurance companies pay for relatively low cost preventive care (which some companies already do, at least in part) they will have to pay less for relatively much more expensive remedial care when a person becomes ill. But why haven't more insurance companies realized and implemented this obvious cost savings before?

Posted by: foofoofoo | July 29, 2009 8:34 AM

THIS IS INSANITY!!!

"* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive."

Michigan is the only state to have that on auto insurance.

Michigan's auto insurance rates are TWENTY PERCENT (20%) HIGHER than other states.

That FOOL Obama-Daley has LOST HIS MIND -- RATES WILL RISE IMMEDIATELY!!! OR MORE BANKRUPTCIES!!!

What a COMPLETE MORON!!!

Posted by: russpoter | July 29, 2009 8:25 AM


Will someone please tell the Kenyan to shove his health care takeover up his a**!!!

Posted by: charko825 | July 29, 2009 8:18 AM

Someone asked me. "Why should everyone be guaranteed free health care? And if we guaranteed to people goods and services they could not afford, where would it ever end? Where would it end short of assuming that everyone has a right to everyone else's property and labor?"

Posted by: wodon1836 | July 29, 2009 8:13 AM

WHAT GOOD IS NATIONAL HEALTH CARE WHEN A MULTI-AGENCY FEDERAL 'PROGRAM' IS DESTROYING THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS OF MANY THOUSANDS OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICANS AND THEIR FAMILIES?


***


"When you see the abuse of power, you've got to speak."

-- VP candidate Joseph Biden, Aug. 27, 2008, Democratic National Convention

***


THE FED-DIRECTED SECRET MULTI-AGENCY SECURITY/MILITARY/INTEL EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND TORTURE NETWORK:

AN IDEOLOGICALLY-DRIVEN SOCIAL GENOCIDE THAT VIOLATES THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS...


And federal citizen volunteer programs front for the "community gang stalkers" who are terrorizing their neighbors by means of covertly implanted GPS tracking devices -- as police look the other way...

...harassing, vandalizing, slandering, destroying their livelihoods -- as their health is degraded with microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons" -- the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

A parallel array of federal "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly decimate the family finances of "target" families -- surely a factor in the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the global financial crisis.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

When victims seek justice, they are told there is "nothing to investigate."

True -- because the Obama administration's Bush-Cheney "leave-behinds" and local law enforcement authorities nationwide KNOW ALL ABOUT IT.

Will Congress, the national press corps, and Team Obama wake up and realize that democracy, human rights and the rule of law are being stolen at the GRASSROOTS?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA" (see "stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 29, 2009 8:02 AM

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