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Posted at 2:50 PM ET, 01/18/2011

House kicks off debate over health-care repeal

By Felicia Sonmez

The House meets Tuesday for its first day of debate on a measure that would repeal the national health care overhaul, following a week during which legislative action came to a standstill following the Tucson shooting tragedy.

Debate on the health care repeal bill is expected to begin after the House reconvenes. The House has set aside seven hours for debate on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a vote on the measure expected to come Wednesday afternoon.

The repeal measure is expected to pass the House on Wednesday but is unlikely to make it through the Senate, where Democrats still hold the majority.

Worth watching will be just how much the tenor of the debate will have changed in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 82 percent of Americans believe the tone of political discourse is negative, with 49 percent saying that it's negative enough to encourage violence.

Over the weekend, there were some signs that congressional leaders have begun adjusting their rhetoric. A post on House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) Web site described the health care law as "job-crushing" and "job-destroying" rather than "job-killing." Democrats, meanwhile, have begun to frame the repeal effort as a "Republican plan to repeal patients' rights."

In addition to Tuesday's floor debate, backers and opponents of repeal were also gearing up for a series of dueling Capitol Hill news conferences. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday afternoon featuring testimony from seven ordinary Americans on how repeal of the health care law would affect them.

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, meanwhile, is planning a news conference at 3 p.m. at which he and other House Republicans are slated to receive hundreds of thousands of petitions demanding the repeal.

Also expect to see lawmakers speak out on the floor not only on the repeal itself but also the process by which the bill has been brought up; Democrats have argued that Republicans have minimized the minority party's role in the process by not holding any hearings on the bill and by limiting the number of amendments that may be proposed. Republicans have contended that the health care overhaul has already been litigated and that the public stands firmly in favor of repeal; they have also allowed for an amendment proposed by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) regarding the "doc fix," requiring the committees working on replacing aspects of the law to provide a permanent fix for the formula that sets Medicare payments for physicians.

By Felicia Sonmez  | January 18, 2011; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Some House rivals spar -- cautiously -- on eve of health care repeal vote

Comments

Hi kalamere. At January 18, 2011 8:18 PM you wrote:

"You forgot that Obama campaigned AGAINST the individual mandate, then he rammed it through Congress when he was elected. He is plainly a liar, and the most economically illiterate President since Carter."

JIM HERE: Yes he was against it, in part because he believed that the wealthiest of our citizens would come to the aid of our country in its time of need and make a modest contribution that would help fund health care reform. Republicans were adamantly against that, and the President decided that the mandate was the next best way to provide the needed funding and expansion of coverage to more people. That is clearly not a lie; to many of us, those who recognize the reality that the Palin/Boehner/Bachman "death panels" accusation was a lie, understand that the President was making a principled compromise.

You see the President as economically illiterate. Many of us see him as economically brilliant. Time will tell, but I can't help thinking about "Seward's Folly." Remember that from the history books? It was about the purchase of Alaska. I suppose Seward was also considered "economically illiterate."

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 19, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

UNSUPPORTED ASSERTIONS ABOUT JOB IMPACT OF HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW

Hi pijacobsen. On January 18, 2011 at 8:03 PM you wrote:

"There is little question that Obamacare is killing American jobs. Who wants to hire when Democrats just raised the costs of employing people astronomically?"

JIM HERE: Oh really? First, it's important for all of us to realize that "Obamacare" is a Republican fiction that never became law. It was a tissue of many lies, such as death panels, coverage of illegal immigrants, coverage of abortion, national takeover and socialization of health care, and so on. I wish the Republicans would repeal their attachment to that bundle of lies and move on to substantive matters. Do you realize that as recently as September 52 percent of seniors who were polled did not realize that Sarah Palin lied about death panels? (That's in the paper this morning, page A3.)

You have just asserted that costs of employing people have risen astronomically. I'm not from Missouri, but you are going to have to show me and many of us. Let's start with some facts. Did you know that small business owners with fewer than 50 employees are not obligated to provide health care? Please explain what added costs they will bear in adding jobs. Here's a fact for you. Per the 2009 Statistical Abstract of the US, Table 736,in 2005 there were 28,874,000 employees in firms with under 20 employees, 24.8% of all the employees in the table (excluded Government and some others). Now 20 employees is 29 employees fewer than the 49 employee limit. Those facts indicate that tens of millions of employees are in companies where the employer does not have to provide insurance or pay a fine under the new law, right? Kindly explain how the new law is going to kill jobs for those employers.

Now it is also a fact that "About 60 percent of Americans under age 65 currently receive health insurance through the workplace." (Landmark, 2010, p. 153) Current health insurance is grandfathered in and does not have to comply with many of the new requirements. Kindly explain how you see "astronomical" increases applying to that group.

Are you aware of the many INSURANCE COST REDUCTION aspects of the new law? I'm curious whether you can name any of them.

You wrote: "Of course, economically illiterate Democrats will reject this reality entirely."

JIM HERE: I'm sorry, but you really haven't at all established "this reality" (of astronomical increases) as real.

You wrote: “For them, there is always plenty of other peoples' money to spend. Just look at California, ...."

JIM HERE: This is getting a little vague and a tad general, don't you think? I really would like to see a reply with fact and logic focused on supporting your vision of health care reform costs.

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 19, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

We don't need any more government jobs.

Sheesh!

We need jobs in the private sector, and this administration hardly cares about them.

which led to a shellacking and will lead to another in 22 months.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 19, 2011 1:35 AM | Report abuse

First, they'll have to change the name to "Repeal the job-creating Health Care bill," as the bill creates over 300,000 jobs. They lie!

Posted by: AReader13 | January 19, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Attn: JIM HERE

This isn't and needn't ever have been a partisan matter. Obama decided to make the legislative process partisan and he signed a very partisan bill into law.

He is still paying the price for that and so are many jobless Americans. The new taxes and mandates in that highly partisan bill are the albatross around the economy.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 19, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

It will be fun to watch Democrat senators filibuster. They will squirm.

Posted by: jy151310 | January 18, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

With an $80 trillion entitlement overhang the country does not need another entitlement program, and especially not the largest yet.

Posted by: gliderpilot | January 18, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

With an $80 trillion entitlement overhang the country does not need another entitlement program, and especially not the largest yet.

Posted by: gliderpilot | January 18, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse


With an $68 trillion entitlement overhang the country does not need another entitlement program, and especially not the largest yet.

Posted by: gliderpilot | January 18, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kalamere | January 18, 2011 8:18 PM

You forgot that Obama campaigned AGAINST the individual mandate, then he rammed it through Congress when he was elected. He is plainly a liar, and the most economically illiterate President since Carter.

Posted by: pijacobsen | January 18, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

This bill was passed knowing the people didn't want it with every kind of underhanded back room backscratching deals.
If it's as good as the Dems say lets debate the merits and dump the spin and phoney budget numbers and then have a vote .

Posted by: kalamere | January 18, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

There is little question that Obamacare is killing American jobs. Who wants to hire when Democrats just raised the costs of employing people astronomically?

Of course, economically illiterate Democrats will reject this reality entirely. For them, there is always plenty of other peoples' money to spend. Just look at California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland for the results of that kind of thinking.

The question is, will the Democrats free-lunch economics bring down the whole US with them, or just the states they control?

Posted by: pijacobsen | January 18, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi mrfr1. At January 18, 2011 5:46 PM you wrote:

"Pardon me, but this health care bill has frozen many employers in their tracks - no new investment or hires."

JIM HERE: I've just been listening to 40 minutes of the House debate on repeal, and it's clear the Republicans are trying to sell the concept that the new law is causing loss of jobs. One point of interest here: the Republicans are saying little about the real features of the actual law, while the Democrats are. It looks to me like the Republicans have rightly seen that they will lose on the merits of the real law with the public, and therefore they are trying to draw attention to conjectural job loss consequences.

You asserted the law has frozen many employers considering investments. However, we are seeing no proof of that from objective sources. I heard a lot of hyperbole, to put it politely, on the Republican side of the debate while I was listening. For instance, speaker after speaker repeated the obvious talking point that small businesses were being burdened with an enormous new regulation and obligation to cover their employees. Well, pardon a little truth here, but the obligations of the law do not apply to small businesses of fewere than 50 employees, as I understand it. On the other hand, the opportunity for subsidies to support their offering health care do apply, if they want them. Their choice. Maybe it's just me, but it looks like there are a great many small businesses under that 50 employee threshold, and it seems to me that a larger small business could easily afford the staff or resources to accomodate the law; they probably already have those resources and won't have to increase budget for them, at least by much.

I'm wondering how many Republican small business owners have been informed by their favored candidates that they are exempt? I wonder how many understand their exemption. Care to venture a guess?

As for large businesses, many of them already have health care plans, and they can keep them in place. There should be minimal burden on their investment.

The bottom line: the Republican argument about job loss looks bogus.

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Hi mrfr1. At January 18, 2011 3:47 PM you wrote in part, with my responses after JIM HERE:

"Jim, your post is based on the idea that only Democrats support decent healthcare."

JIM HERE: Of course a great many citizens who want decent health care are Republican, but, as I see it, there are very few Republican legislators in the House who seem truly interested beyond their own narrow agenda, such as tort reform, which is a legitimate issue in my view.

Even today, despite promising to replace the ObamaCares law with something better, they have not come up with a real alternative. I'm convinced that's mainly because they truly have trouble caring about health care reform - it's just not on their radar.

I'm also basing my view on a survey of competitive House and Senate races I did prior to the 2008 elections in which the Democrats did so well. I was interested in supporting candidates who supported restoration and increase of Federal funding for cancer research. I checked candidates websites, and what I found was a revelation to me, as a true Independent. All the Democratic Party candidates had planks for health care, but almost none of the Republicans did. That was mirrored among the presidential candidates. Candidate Huckabee had a well thought out and committed platform; Senator McCain had a decent platform, and Gov. Romney had his Massachusetts experience, but the others had minimal health concerns, as I recall. In sharp contrast, candidates Clinton and Obama had rather expertly expressed platforms with clear input from their own experiences, and other Democrats obviously cared about health care.

You wrote: "I am afraid what they support is government run healthcare which from reports we read from abroad is not necessarily decent."

JIM HERE: That's a Republican myth. ObamaCares is actually quite close to Richard Nixon's vision, and it preserves the core of our privately run system. Our system has strong points worth preserving, and that has been done. On the other hand, while there are shortcomings to foreign systems, many of them were far superior in the proportion of citizens who were covered. ObamaCares makes us competitive there.

You wrote: "... So 75% don't want it as it is. That then includes lots of independents and some Democrats as well."

JIM HERE: What they don't want is the fictional "ObamaCare" that was never proposed by Democrats and never became law. That was the stuff of death panels, nationalization of health delivery, fostering abortions, skyrocketing costs, and other lies. Polls show that when people respond about true features of the law, they like it.

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Pardon me, but this health care bill has frozen many employers in their tracks - no new investment or hires.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 18, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Pardon me, but this health care bill has frozen many employers in their tracks - no new investment or hires.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 18, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Yet republican hypocrites keep their government healthcare.

Posted by: treefrog2 | January 18, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

In the middle of the period of the greatest jobless drought in our nation's history, at a moment when the populace actually looks to the political system for some measure of institutional assistance in dealing with the 30 to 40 million jobs that just aren't there...the Republican "leadership" ducks entirely its call to duty, and leads a discussion of something which could never happen during the current president's administration.

Talk about missing your moment in time.

What a waste.

You didn't need to regain a majority in the house, to demonstrate unending commitment to futile gestures and pronouncements in times of crisis.

Posted by: wherehaveallthejobsgone | January 18, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Great. Repeal the health care and let people and children die because the insurance companies are afraid it might cost them money to, maybe, save a life.
Talk about death panels. The insurance companies have been doing that for years by denying coverage or canceling a member because that member became sick. In fact the insurance companies have been giving a bonus to employees every time they denied coverage to a person.
There is no "death panel" mentioned any where in this health care plan.

Posted by: angelofil | January 18, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Before the Republican Party repeals the current health care plan, it would be nice if they thanked the uninsured taxpayers for paying 66% of their Federal health care premiums yearly. That cost could be as much as $10500.00 yearly, depending on their selected plan, for each Congressman/Senator as reflected in the 2011 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan for Federal employees. I guess its true; they don’t need health care reform.

Posted by: smithcb10 | January 18, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Before the Republican Party repeals the current health care plan, it would be nice if they thanked the uninsured taxpayers for paying 66% of their Federal health care premiums yearly. That cost could be as much as $10500.00, depending on their selected plan, for each Congressman, Senator and all Federal employees each year as reflected in the 2011 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan for Federal employees. I guess its true; they don’t need health care reform.

Posted by: smithcb10 | January 18, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Someone should remind the Republicans and the public that Rep. Giffords has a government-sponsored health care plan, which is working very nicely for her.

Posted by: BettyW1 | January 18, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans seem to be paying attention to the people.

The Democrats didn't and got shellacked.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 18, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Prediction; after the repeal effort dies in the Senate, between the forces of improve the bill and the forces of cut up the bill, a stalemate means nothing will happen. Except an incredible waste of time.

Posted by: dudh | January 18, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans seem to be paying attention to the people.

The Democrats didn't and got shellacked.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 18, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post, Mr. Waldenfelds. You caught me extrapolating all Republican thought to replicate what we hear from Boehner, McConnell and their ilk.
I, too, am a cancer survivor. I worry that Republicans in control of the party's message and ideology are too willing to sacrifice our health for their ideology.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 18, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post, Mr. Waldenfelds. You caught me extrapolating all Republican thought to replicate what we hear from Boehner, McConnell and their ilk.
I, too, am a cancer survivor. I worry that Republicans in control of the party's message and ideology are too willing to sacrifice our health for their ideology.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 18, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it is safe to say that most Americans will not read this bill but believe that health care reform is of primary importance. Our current trending in health care expense is unsustainable. We have mounting uninsureds who are overwhelming our emergency care departments. The language of 'repeal', outside of partisan posturing, just isn't very reassuring nor it is realisic. What the GOP and DEM's could agree on, is a need to IMPROVE the bill. It is positive language that could be used to broker a bipartisan debate that will benefit Americans of all walks.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | January 18, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Three students shot at Gardena High School in Los Angeles this morning, by African American. The school claims it was an accident. First comment of the day in this thread.

Posted by: bbwk80a | January 18, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Three students shot at Gardena High School in Los Angeles this morning, by African American. The school claims it was an accident.

Posted by: bbwk80a | January 18, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey fear-mongering GOPers that aree against governement sponsored health care,
Write to your newly elected representatives that vote to repeal to give up THEIR government sponsored health care... Tell them to put their money where their mouth is and join the free market like the rest of you schmucks that seem to think it is working so well.
Hey, ROn Paul, wehy haven't YOU given it up yet?
I might actually respect these people if THEY would give up their government sponsored health care, but, so far, no one has offered to do it...
If they think the free market is so great, why wouldn't they?

Posted by: phorse | January 18, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Hi JohnLeeHooker1. At January 18, 2011 3:19 PM you wrote in part, with my responses starting with JIM HERE:

"To JimWaldenvels and others of his ilk who HAVE CLEARLY NOT READ THE BILLS OR THE CBO/CMMS docs:"

JIM HERE: Actually, I do have a copy of the law and am working my way through the provisions. I've read an account of the CBO document and contacted the CBO to ask whether and suggest that they overestimated costs under the law. Have you read the law?

Your wrote: "p 15 of CBO ANALYSIS of Reid's bill: After the first ten years cost estimates are NOT MEANINGFUL (their words) as uncertainties are simply too great."

JIM HERE: That should be clear to all. However, forecasters do the best they can with what they have.

You wrote: "p 13: CBO assumes 21% reduction in Medicare pmts in 2010 (already false) and more in out years."

JIM HERE: This is one of the areas where I tried to suggest lower costs to the CBO (did not get past the receptionist phone person). But perhaps you will be kind enough to give me a moment. It's not just the payment rate to an individual doctor for a service to a specific patient that matters. It also matters whether the number of such reimbursable actions is lower than the number forecast by the CBO. What bothered me is that their analysis appears to be so high level that it does not capture some highly favorable developments, savings wise. Are you aware that sound new care guidelines urge new, low-risk prostate cancer patients to safely defer major treatment, hopefully forever, instead of having immediate treatment, with its frequent train of side effects and complications that need their own treatment? Conservatively, that would result, if fully implemented, in much less expensive surveillance instead of care in about 40% of the 200,000 men annually diagnosed. I addressed savings from no longer doing unnecessary scans for them in an earlier post. Brand names going generic is also resulting in enormous savings. Prevention is looking promising for prostate cancer and many other diseases, and the new law is motivating prevention. Catching diseases early through timely screening also saves a fortune, and the law encourages that. Do you want specifics?

You wrote: p 18: CBO assumes provisions (CUTS) are enacted and are unchanged for the NEXT TWO DECADES WHICH IS OFTEN NOT THE CASE.

JIM HERE: Granted, there's a lot of uncertainty, but you have to base your model on the current reality. I believe that greater savings will be achieved.

You wrote: p 19: It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate (re Medicare HALF TRILLION CUTS) COULD be achieved, and if so, whther it would be accomplished through efficiencies in the delivery of care (SURE) or would result in REDUCED ACCESS TO CARE OR DIMINISHED QUALITY OF CARE."

JIM HERE: Please check my post of 2:36 PM on some highly realistic and actual major cost reductions. I think I'll be able to give you some hope.

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Playing politics with peoples health is not a very productive use of time.

The GOP should get to work and stop wasting our money which is paying their salaries and healthcare bills.

Posted by: rbchadwick | January 18, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Jim, your post is based on the idea that only Democrats support decent healthcare.

I am afraid what they support is government run healthcare which from reports we read from abroad is not necessarily decent.

NB: about 25% of likely voters like the law as is and an equal number want it repealed and not replaced.

Another 25% of likely voters want it keep but with the undesirable provisions eliminated, and 25% want it both repealed and replaced.

So 75% don't want it as it is. That then includes lots of independents and some Democrats as well.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 18, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I generally support the healthcare bill and lean towards the Democratic party, but I am starting to agree with Rep. Boehner when he says that he doesn't agree with CBO estimates future deficit reduction from this legislation. At first, I thought he was just making up his own set of facts and sefl-servingly ignoring an authoritative, non-partisan report by the CBO.

The WashPo article last week and factcheck.org analysis of healthcare legislation cost and job impact pretty clearly indicate that the CBO's report was based on a number of cost-saving assumptions that are very unlikely to pan out.

So the question is whether this legislation really is cost effective for the nation if the deficit reduction eventually does NOT accrue.

Posted by: RufusPlimpton | January 18, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

As usual the Repukeians are concentrading on something that will hurt most Americans instead of creating jobs. John Boehner who felt is was more important to get drunk instead of going to a Memorial Service is leading the charge in hurting the poor and middleclass. Where are the jobs Mr. Speaker? Where are the jobs Mr. Ryan? Where are the jobs Mr. Cantor? Oh that's right, You Lied to the American People!

Posted by: sumo1 | January 18, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

jack824 wrote: "Maybe the GOP should figure out the "Replace" part BEFORE they do the "Repeal" part."
*****************************************
I note that jack824 doesn't provide a reason about why the GOP needs to figure out the "replace" part. The Dems never worried about the original bill in the first place, with their leader asking reps to vote for the bill so they could find out "what was in it."

Posted by: josephpturner | January 18, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

THE FEW REPUBLICAN EXCEPTIONS WHO SUPPORT DECENT HEALTH CARE

Hi jimsteinberg1. At January 18, 2011 1:50 PM you wrote:

"Republicans don't care about American people's health. Most Republicans can afford the constantly rising costs that force too many American families to "economize" on their and their children's medical care.
It follows that Republicans are (with notable exceptions) selfish and heartless."

JIM W HERE: I pretty much see it the way you do, but here are two points for thought. As a now savvy cancer survivor, I believe that many who oppose the reform, including a great many Republicans, are not so well off that they can afford rising premiums and health care costs. Instead, I think many of them are young enough to consider themselves invulnerable, and many others just do not think ahead. I have Republican friends that I do not consider either selfish or heartless (quite the contrary), but I do believe they simply have not thought through the issues and have accepted many falsehoods about reform as truth.

My second thought is about recognizing some decent Republican leadership regarding health care. I especially salute former governor Mike Huckabee; he is the only Republican presidential candidate who attended Lance Armstrong's candidate summit on cancer. He understands much of what we are facing, he has won his own battle against obesity, and he is sincerely and vigorously urging Americans to take better care of themselves. He even came to the First Lady's defense against another rant from Palin about the First Lady's good health campaign.

I think Senator McCain has taken some worthy stands for health care and deserves our esteem. Of course former Senator, former Republican Arlan Spector was a champion of health care, especially cancer care. Maybe that's why he was not a good fit as a Republican.

Can you think of others who are prominent?

It is shameful that so few Republican leaders have a claim to such recognition!

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Just to satisfy curiousity, it would be interesting to know what the total health services bill for the Tuscon shooting victims is to this point in time.

Posted by: sr31 | January 18, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

To JimWaldenvels and others of his ilk who HAVE CLEARLY NOT READ THE BILLS OR THE CBO/CMMS docs:

p 15 of CBO ANALYSIS of Reid's bill: After the first ten years cost estimates are NOT MEANINGFUL (their words) as uncertainties are simply too great.

p 13: CBO assumes 21% reduction in Medicare pmts in 2010 (already false) and more in out years.

p 18: CBO assumes provisions (CUTS) are enacted and are unchanged for the NEXT TWO DECADES WHICH IS OFTEN NOT THE CASE.

p 19: It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate (re Medicare HALF TRILLION CUTS) COULD be achieved, and if so, whther it would be accomplished through efficiencies in the delivery of care (SURE) or would result in REDUCED ACCESS TO CARE OR DIMINISHED QUALITY OF CARE.

I'm glad you're so happy w/ this bill but why was it necessary to screw up coverage for 275 MILLION PEOPLE just so you and yours could be happy? Take it from others so you can get free stuff!

Posted by: JohnLeeHooker1 | January 18, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic healthcare bill was 2322 pages long, or exactly 2322 pages longer than the GOP alternative.

Maybe the GOP should figure out the "Replace" part BEFORE they do the "Repeal" part.


Posted by: jack824 | January 18, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Deft move, Boehner, changing your repeal bill's title from "job-killing" to "job-crushing." (I'm guessing you were nervous about the "killing" title because of the unhinged character who killed people last week and badly injured a Democratic House member.)
I'm still shocked and disappointed by the huckster-hack language you and other Republicans chose to attach to your repeal bill. You lack the sense to recognize that your chosen title screams to us all that you aren't serious about addressing pre-existing medical conditions, Big Insurance gouging and heartless denial of coverage.
The sophomoric language of your "repeal"
bill, which will go nowhere, betrays the thug/dope mentality at the heart of Republican objections to our new health law -- and in the hearts of these
Republicans.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 18, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Hi ohioan. At January 18, 2011 2:17 PM you wrote in part, with some responses following JIM HERE:

You wrote: "Americans never wanted ObamaCare, as evidenced by the November "shellacking"."

JIM HERE: Yes, we, almost all of us, did not want the fictional "ObamaCare" that actually was a pack of many lies repeatedly told by Republicans and ineffectively countered by Democrats. I'll use "ObamaCares" for the real, non-fictional law that so many of us favor and more are coming to favor each day as they learn the truth. I hope you will be one of them. The full title of the law is "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Please read my post on the falsehoods that are still being propagated by Republicans. I posted it at January 18, 2011 1:43 PM."

You wrote: "All Americans, Republican and Democrat alike, recognize we Need healthcare reform."

JIM HERE: A lot of us now recognize that we DO now have health care reform.

You wrote: "But ObamaCare doesn't Reduce Costs!"

JIM HERE: No ObamaCare probably did not reduce cost, but it was a Republican fiction. The real ObamaCares law reduces and constrains costs in many ways. Please read my post of January 18, 2011 2:36 PM about that. If you want much more complete detail, get a copy of "Landmark -- The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All".

You wrote: "Now Democrats are trying to start a New Crisis, telling us we All have pre-existing conditions.
Hey, we already knew that, and we still don't like ObamaCare!"

JIM HERE: I'm glad you recognize the prevalence of pre-existing conditions. Do you recognize that millions of your fellow citizens with pre-existing conditions were excluded from insurance coverage or had to pay extremely burdensome premiums under the "free market solution" version of health care that is fading away under the new law? That was the case.

You wrote: We want competition, free market solutions,
eliminate anti-trust laws that protect insurance companies, tort reform so that more doctors can stay in business;
we want to buy healthcare across state lines if necessary."

JIM HERE: I fully agree on tort reform, something Democrats do not adequately support.

You wrote: "I want to be able to buy catastrophic coverage only, and I'll pay for my own doctor office visits."

JIM HERE: You and the Marlboro Man. (Do you know he late in life railed at Marlboro because of his lung cancer?) Good luck with your plan. As a survivor of a challenging case of cancer, I've seen too many people who were unprepared. Most of us believe that sharing the risk, with decent insurance, is best. You will be able to elect a bare bones plan under the law, but it probably will give you some of that priceless protection that you do not now value.


Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

At the rate of outsourcing jobs the US is currently engaged in it is only a matter of time before we have single-payer health care as folks won't be able to afford health care otherwise.

Republicans, as usual, focus on the wrong issues. If they want to maintain a free market system they are gonna have to start with well-paying job creation. It won't happen with their magic potents.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 18, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

More to whit...I don't give a durn about Obamacare, Health Care Repeal or whatever the GOP is talking about unless it's JOBS!

Where are the JOBS??? It's almost February and the unemployment rate is still sky high....where are the JOBS??

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 18, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

US companies are creating more jobs overseas than here at home. If Obama ever hopes to lower the deficit, retire debt, and win re-election a massive number of new well-paying jobs will have to be created.

Meanwhile, Republicans jockey and fiddle around with non-sense.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 18, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Democrats, meanwhile, have begun to frame the repeal effort as a "Republican plan to repeal patients' rights."
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Democrats need to learn how to frame this in language that the average person would understand. Half the people don't even know what patients' rights are.

They need to say something like, "The GOP wants to take away your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They want to keep your kids sick and let them die by refusing you the health care that they themselves enjoy every day!"

Not, so much the truth, but when do people listen to the truth these days?

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 18, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so what's your solution? Under this law, Obamacare or whatever you like to call it, millions of boomers ready to retire would. Why? Simple. When you're between retirement and 65, try buying health insurance that you can afford, especially with pre-conditions. So if the Republic Party wants to crush this certainty that boomers could actually afford real health insurance, millions and millions of people will hang on to their jobs, depriving the next generations of having those jobs.

The Republic Party is the party of crackpot thinking. They want to overturn anything that helps regular people and pass anything that makes rich people richer. It's a sick, twisted, sordid and degenerate way to think.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | January 18, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Felicia,

It would have been nice to compare how the Democrats allegedly "rammed down" health care reform and how the new people's Republican house is so respectful to the Democrats and leaving so much time to debating and amending the motion with 1/3 of the nation's economy at stake.

No mention of the Republican's health care bill that they have circulated so everyone knows what the are proposing to put in place?

Thanks for the careful research and hard work that is your hallmark.

Posted by: FoundingMother | January 18, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

What a complete waste of the Taxpayers time and money!

WHERE ARE THE JOBS, BONER ?!?!

.


Posted by: DrainYou | January 18, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

MANY COST REDUCING MECHANISMS IN NEW HEALTH CARE LAW

Hi postfan1. At January 18, 2011 1:33 PM you wrote, in part:

"... The better approach would have been to address health care costs, but Obama sold our soul to the health care industry, which doesn't resemble a free market at all."

I am a now fairly savvy consumer of health care after being diagnosed with a challenging case of prostate cancer eleven years ago. I've been following the reform closely, and I'd like to give you some things to consider, things that may ease your concerns, which so many share.

The new law fosters comparative effectiveness studies, and these can result in enormous cost savings. Here's an example. For well over a decade, it was a routine part of the diagnostic workup for prostate cancer to have men do bone and CT scans to check for metastases. With roughly 200,000 men diagnosed in the US annually, that meant that about 400,000 radiological scans were being done. Now in 2009 and 2010, two major medical guideline organizations, neither part of any Government, recommended strongly that those scans not be done except in high risk and other exceptional circumstances. I think that we can conservatively estimate that 300,000 fewer scans will be done as the guidelines take hold, resulting in an enormous cost reduction, and freeing the facilities for other patients, including some of the newly covered. Now that was done by our private medical system, not the Government, but it took until 2009 for someone to connect the dots. Under the new law, we should see more timely and numerous such changes.

I wanted to give you that detail so you can really visualize the cost savings potential. Here are a few other brief examples.

- Electronic records are emphasized under the law. This will have myriad benefits, but in part it will reduce the performance of duplicative tests now ordered by different docs for the same patient. (I've helped my own docs reduce duplication.)

- Use of effective and appropriate generic drugs will be fostered. The savings potential is monumental. I can give examples using Fosamax, Casodex, Proscar, and Zocor.

- The law's requirement to focus 85% of insurer income on patient care rather than profits, lobbying, advertising, etc., is highly likely to reduce costs.

- Those newly covered under the law will be treatable in more cost-effective environments, such as outpatient doctors' offices, instead of high-cost emergency rooms that are unnecessary for non-emergency care.

- The new law strongly emphasizes prevention, and prevention is far, far less expensive than treatment of an established disease.

I hope this will be food for thought. Take care.

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Defense spending is dead money. It creates nothing productive. We're blowing 1 trillion a year on wars and arms and a big military empire overseas. It's unsustainable. We need to slash the 1 trillion down to 250 billion, and then spend that on arms that really work, not on some congressman's pork barrel........ Party will never agree to real cuts in defense and "Patriotic" law apparatus because it makes too many of their brethren rich off the government teat.


Posted by: mongolovesheriff


_______________________
You are exactly correct. It is called the Mil-Ind Complex, that is running this country. God Save us!!

Posted by: yard80197 | January 18, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

backsmith2 - Well said. Both parties would serve their own interests better by serving ours first.

Posted by: treetopflyer | January 18, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

MANY COST REDUCING MECHANISMS IN NEW HEALTH CARE LAW

Hi postfan1. At January 18, 2011 1:33 PM you wrote, in part:

"... The better approach would have been to address health care costs, but Obama sold our soul to the health care industry, which doesn't resemble a free market at all."

I am a now fairly savvy consumer of health care after being diagnosed with a challenging case of prostate cancer eleven years ago. I've been following the reform closely, and I'd like to give you some things to consider, things that may ease your concerns, which so many share.

The new law fosters comparative effectiveness studies, and these can result in enormous cost savings. Here's an example. For well over a decade, it was a routine part of the diagnostic workup for prostate cancer to have men do bone and CT scans to check for metastases. With roughly 200,000 men diagnosed in the US annually, that meant that about 400,000 radiological scans were being done. Now in 2009 and 2010, two major medical guideline organizations, neither part of any Government, recommended strongly that those scans not be done except in high risk and other exceptional circumstances. I think that we can conservatively estimate that 300,000 fewer scans will be done as the guidelines take hold, resulting in an enormous cost reduction, and freeing the facilities for other patients, including some of the newly covered. Now that was done by our private medical system, not the Government, but it took until 2009 for someone to connect the dots. Under the new law, we should see more timely and numerous such changes.

I wanted to give you that detail so you can really visualize the cost savings potential. Here are a few other brief examples.

- Electronic records are emphasized under the law. This will have myriad benefits, but in part it will reduce the performance of duplicative tests now ordered by different docs for the same patient. (I've helped my own docs reduce duplication.)

- Use of effective and appropriate generic drugs will be fostered. The savings potential is monumental. I can give examples using Fosamax, Casodex, Proscar, and Zocor.

- The law's requirement to focus 85% of insurer income on patient care rather than profits, lobbying, advertising, etc., is highly likely to reduce costs.

- Those newly covered under the law will be treatable in more cost-effective environments, such as outpatient doctors' offices, instead of high-cost emergency rooms that are unnecessary for non-emergency care.

- The new law strongly emphasizes prevention, and prevention is far, far less expensive than treatment of an established disease.

I hope this will be food for thought. Take care.

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Defense spending is dead money. It creates nothing productive. We're blowing 1 trillion a year on wars and arms and a big military empire overseas. It's unsustainable. We need to slash the 1 trillion down to 250 billion, and then spend that on arms that really work, not on some congressman's pork barrel project. That 750 billion could be used to pay down long-term debt and help slash the interest payments.

Second, the Republic Party crammed their "Patriotic" laws down our throats in the post-9/11 hysteria. Their laws greatly expanded the US surveillance society, abolished the Fourth Amendment provisions, and resulted in tens of billions more spent on spies, contractors and data storage facilities. Had Dumya simply paid attention to the FBI and CIA warnings at the time, he could have avoided 9/11. So now, we have to go into expensive Big Brother mode to make up for his negligence.

The Republic Party will never agree to real cuts in defense and "Patriotic" law apparatus because it makes too many of their brethren rich off the government teat.


Posted by: mongolovesheriff | January 18, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Interesting... early on, the republicans lied about the so-called “death panels” that the health care plan would have (all along forgetting that HMO’s are the original death panels).

Then, as we moved along in the discussion, the republican party itself has become the all encompassing “death panel”. In it’s relentless opposition to a national healthcare plan, they have spread lies and misinformation in an effort to kill national healthcare for the rest of us.

Sounds like a death panel to me.

Posted by: 4Jaxon | January 18, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@ BSTone wrote:The Obama healthcare bill was passed only because the democrats held a majority in the house and senate, it was rammed through without the proper discussions taking place between both parties....
___________________________________________

Former Pre.Bush only got his Tax credits passed b/c the Rethugs had a majority in the senate and in the house. And by the way, he used reconciliation to ram it through and down....See BS, thats how it works, it part of democracy..When the party has majority......Never mind, trying to explain to someone who has a screen name BS and watches fox is useless. Though I had to try...

Posted by: Realistic5 | January 18, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Americans never wanted ObamaCare, as evidenced by the November "shellacking".
All Americans, Republican and Democrat alike, recognize we Need healthcare reform.
But ObamaCare doesn't Reduce Costs!
Now Democrats are trying to start a New Crisis, telling us we All have pre-existing conditions.
Hey, we already knew that, and we still don't like ObamaCare!
We want competition, free market solutions,
eliminate anti-trust laws that protect insurance companies, tort reform so that more doctors can stay in business;
we want to buy healthcare across state lines if necessary.
I want to be able to buy catastrophic coverage only, and I'll pay for my own doctor office visits.

Posted by: ohioan | January 18, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The solution to this HC debate is simple:

1. If all republicans are against gov't sponsored HC than drop their own care and get one from the free market. Than only than try to repeal HC. Until than, shut up!!!

Posted by: Realistic5 | January 18, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News Now

In another win for America the United States Supreme Court turns down an appeal of DC's Gay Marriage Law.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_gay_marriage

Meanwhile, Republicans continue their efforts to hold America back on health care.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 18, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse


All of the survivors of the Tuscon massacre now have "pre-existing conditions."

The republicans want to make sure that big insurance companies can refuse to give them health care insurance because of it.

Where are the jobs, republicans?

Or are you too busy trying to gin up phony issues to stir up the low-infomration crowd for political gain to get to it?

Yeah, I thought so.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | January 18, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Republicans don't care about American people's health. Most Republicans can afford the constantly rising costs that force too many American families to "economize" on their and their children's medical care.
It follows that Republicans are (with notable exceptions) selfish and heartless.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 18, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Status quo is absolutely out. . . . . . That is unless you want to bring our nation down in ruins.

Our health care is 18% of our GDP, while Europe's health care is only 8% of its GDP. Our businesses are tied by a ball-and-chain to private health care. . . . . . . . . . We need to do something.

OK, you don't want single-payer and negotiated drug prices, even though those two money saving engines would reduce all health care cost by 30% across the board.

Very well then, let's go to the complete free-market. After all, this is what Republicans have been yelping for.

IF YOU CAN'T PAY THEN NO WAY -- the Republican plan. . . . . . You don't have the money or the insurance, then you don't get through the hospital door. No Emergency Room visits, no getting though hospital or doctor's door, even if you're dying.

In no way do hospitals or doctors get to charge an indigent's bill on to other customers, or to the government, or to the taxpayers. If you don't have the means to pay, then you and your children can go die in the streets, and decrease the surplus population ( not a bad idea ).

Now that would reduce health care cost and the deficit, which is the goal of both Republicans and Democrats. It's that simple.

So you choose:

1) Single-payer and negotiated drug prices, or

2) If you can't pay, then no way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Put your free-market capitalism where your loud mouth is. . . . . . . It'll get the job done.

Posted by: Here2day | January 18, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Look at these GOP idiots.

The people want Congress to focus on creating jobs.

The republicans want to focus on doing something which has NO CHANCE of ever every happening: repeal of the Health Care Reform Bill.

I guess they just can't stand the thought of their corporate masters losing a little bit of their profit margins at the expense of millions of working Americans.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | January 18, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

OPPOSITION TO HEALTH CARE LAW BASED ON FALSEHOODS

I continue to be disappointed that leaders in the Republican Party still claim massive public support for their repeal attempt.

So much of that support is based on a false version of the law. The fiction that many people oppose features coverage of illegal aliens, death panels making key decisions, funding of abortions, lack of choice in physicians and hospitals, budget busting provisions, among other falsehoods. Unfortunately, in addition to Republican leaders, party discipline was sufficient in the House to bind all Republican legislators to that unworthy cause.

They better do this fast, as people who formerly opposed the law are beginning to open their eyes and realize they have been opposing a reality that is strongly in their own interest, in the interest of their family, friends and community, in the interest of their businesses and places of employment, and in the interest of our nation.

As an Independent who has voted for more Republicans than Democrats for high office, including the presidency, including the past decade, I am appalled by the visionless, greedy, power-hungry, and honorless Republican leadership. This vote will be a dark day in Republican Party history which they will come to rue.

Thank you Democrats for standing firm, including those brave legislators who voted for health care reform knowing it would cost them their seats. You have a legacy that will make you proud!

I am a twelfth year survivor of a challenging case of prostate cancer that is incurable with current technology (doing well), and the health care reform law matters to me.

DON'T TREAD ON OUR HEALTH CARE BILL OF RIGHTS!

Posted by: JimWaldenfels | January 18, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"raising head in the GOP Heaven's" where are the jobs oh thy Behner, McConnell, teaidiot party. Oh where are the jobs, where are the jobs........2001-2007, only 2 million jobs were created under Bush, Clinton 22 million in 8 years. Obama created 1 million jobs withnin 19 months, during a economic downturn.

Where are the jobs Behner?

Posted by: Sincear2021 | January 18, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Medicare and Medicaid fraud adds up to over $100BN annually. Can anyone imagine the amount of the future Healthcare fraud? Did the CBO include this fraud in its estimates? "
****

And who's responsible for that fraud? How about the private insurance companies double, sometime tripling what they should really be reimbursed.

Just another conservative "blame government because private sector can do no wrong."

Unreal.

Posted by: dcp26851 | January 18, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The GOP has it backward as usual.

Currently health care costs add $1700 to the cost of every US made automobile.
Toyota and other Japanese auto makers don't have to pay this since they have national health insurance.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6346303.stm

Posted by: rbchadwick | January 18, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News Now

Republicans eager to have Americans continue to pay 100% more for health care than any other nation. Says its our duty to support the profits and compensation levels of executives.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 18, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What is Froma smoking really? Let's use simple logic:

(1) spend trillions of dollars to create 200 new bureaucracies
(2) Offer free medical care to 30 million new people
(3) Upgrade care for free (according to Obama promise)
(4) Give free medical care to anyone who signs up regardless of pre-conditions
(5) Do not raise taxes (according to Obama promise)
(6) Keep your doctor and your plan (according to Obama promise) even though hundreds of companies have already declared they will discontinue health insurance benefits because it's too expensive under Obamacare
(7) Spend 10 years worth of taxes for 6 years worth of free medical coverage (no plan yet after 6 years)

AND WE'RE GOING TO SAVE MONEY??? WOW! MAGIC!

WE SHOULD JUST SPEND TRILLIONS MORE DOLLARS AND ERASE THE NATIONAL DEBT ALTOGETHER!!!!

BETTER YET, FLUSH ALL THE MONEY DOWN THE TOILET, OR DROP IT OUT OF A PLANE IN TENS AND TWENTIES, OR LEAVE THE MONEY ON A GHETTO STREET CORNER FOR THE PROSTITUTES...

AND PRESTO! EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN + PLUS ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS WILL WAKE UP WITH A MILLION DOLLARS IN THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS AND FREE GOLF CARDS IN THEIR WALLETS TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!

WHO KNEW ECONOMICS COULD BE SO EASY?????

Posted by: TonyV1 | January 18, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I hope they DO repeal it, if only to show that people can't afford to overpay for their own insurance AND subsidize someone elses.

The better approach would have been to address health care costs, but Obama sold our soul to the health care industry, which doesn't resemble a free market at all.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 18, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The House Republicans are truly pathetic. They acknowledge that it is a symbolic vote, but will go ahead and do it to appease their constituents. Whatever happened to what is good for the people in this nation who do not have health insurance. The ER is not the place to get primary care, yet uninsured Amricans are forced to wait 6 or more hours for minor problems. The conservative Heritage Foundation originally came up with the idea of the Individual Mandate as counter to the Democrats proposal for employer mandate. Yet now that the Dems inserted it into the Affordable Healthcare Act, they oppose it and are suing the Obama Administration. How pathetic is that? What is their counter proposal to not only insure 30 million people, but to bring down cost? The GOP is not offering a solution, just the usual tired No, No, and Hell No!

Posted by: cile92 | January 18, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The Bush tax cuts for the rich were supposed to create jobs. Shows what the Republicans know about job creation.

Posted by: amstphd | January 18, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Status quo is absolutely out. . . . . . That is unless you want to bring our nation down in ruins.

Our health care is 18% of our GDP, while Europe's health care is only 8% of its GDP. Our businesses are tied by a ball-and-chain to private health care. . . . . . . . . . We need to do something.

OK, you don't want single-payer and negotiated drug prices, even though those two money saving engines would reduce all health care cost by 30% across the board.

Very well, then let's go to the complete free-market. After all this is what Republicans have been yelping for.

IF YOU CAN'T PAY THEN NO WAY -- the Republican plan. . . . . . You don't have the money or the insurance, then you don't get through the hospital door. No Emergency Room visits, no getting though hospital or doctor's door.

In no way do hospital or doctors get to charge an indigent's bill on to other customers, or to the government, or to the taxpayers. If you don't have the means to pay, then you and your children can go die in the streets, and decrease the surplus population ( not a bad idea ).

Now that would reduce health care cost and the deficit, which is the goal of both Republicans and Democrats. It's that simple.

So you choose:

1) Single-payer and negotiated drug prices, or

2) If you can't pay, then no way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Put you free-market capitalism where your loud mouth is. It'll get the job done.

Posted by: Here2day | January 18, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

DAMN this is worth REPEATING..
MANY TIMES

All that nonsense about "job killing".
First: What good is a job when you're too sick to do it.
But, second, and most important: All over Europe they have (various) systems of health coverage for all and they still have jobs. In Germany, for example, everybody is insured (and has other benefits) on his job (and if unemployed too), all costs are split between the employer and the employee and are calculated as a certain percentage of your salary or wages, just like social security here. And is does not kill jobs, they have the lowest unemployment rate within the last 20 years now. Germany's economy is booming even though they have between 3 and 6 weeks of paid vacation, unlimited sick times, extra pay on Christmas and vacation times, work in average not more, most even less than 40 hours per week. So it is doable for the benefit of the whole country. "Jo killing" arguments are just used to squeeze out even more from the people. Cut insurer's CEO salaries and we'll have lower rates.

Posted by: jnm111

Posted by: pdq5 | January 18, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Please calling it a Job Crushing bill in the official title is so extremely childish and partisan its no better than the other title. How petty and childish can you get. First the Republicans are wasting time passing a bill they know is dead in the water as an act of political theater, then they name it something a 13 year old would be ashamed to use. Just grow up and have rational discussions where you debate facts, of course then the Republicans lose, but it would be better for America.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | January 18, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

DAMN this is worth REPEATING..
MANY TIMES

All that nonsense about "job killing".
First: What good is a job when you're too sick to do it.
But, second, and most important: All over Europe they have (various) systems of health coverage for all and they still have jobs. In Germany, for example, everybody is insured (and has other benefits) on his job (and if unemployed too), all costs are split between the employer and the employee and are calculated as a certain percentage of your salary or wages, just like social security here. And is does not kill jobs, they have the lowest unemployment rate within the last 20 years now. Germany's economy is booming even though they have between 3 and 6 weeks of paid vacation, unlimited sick times, extra pay on Christmas and vacation times, work in average not more, most even less than 40 hours per week. So it is doable for the benefit of the whole country. "Jo killing" arguments are just used to squeeze out even more from the people. Cut insurer's CEO salaries and we'll have lower rates.

Posted by: jnm111

Posted by: pdq5 | January 18, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

All that nonsense about "job killing".
First: What good is a job when you're too sick to do it.
But, second, and most important: All over Europe they have (various) systems of health coverage for all and they still have jobs. In Germany, for example, everybody is insured (and has other benefits) on his job (and if unemployed too), all costs are split between the employer and the employee and are calculated as a certain percentage of your salary or wages, just like social security here. And is does not kill jobs, they have the lowest unemployment rate within the last 20 years now. Germany's economy is booming even though they have between 3 and 6 weeks of paid vacation, unlimited sick times, extra pay on Christmas and vacation times, work in average not more, most even less than 40 hours per week. So it is doable for the benefit of the whole country. "Jo killing" arguments are just used to squeeze out even more from the people. Cut insurer's CEO salaries and we'll have lower rates.

Posted by: jnm111 | January 18, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS..WHERE ARE the JOBS??

WHY are you Wasting TIME??

Posted by: pdq5 | January 18, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hawkestreet1:

Bush? Who's Bush?

Posted by: FlyDiesel | January 18, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This is a GOP charade for the Tea Party.

Anyone with an ounce of sense knows what it takes to override a certain Presidential veto and the GOP just comes up way short.

I would rather the GOP spend it energy figuring out how to make the Health Care Legislation better and in helping the average American and less time trying to undermine Obama to ensure he is a "One Term President"

Posted by: waxtraxs | January 18, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

So what is the GOP'S plan to create jobs, bring down the cost of energy and clean up the mess they created during the Bush administration? I realize that the GOP is hard at work with the health care repeal waste of taxpayer’s time and money show but at what point should I expect to see the details of their plan?

Posted by: Hawkestreet1 | January 18, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Damnedgentelemen:

You're quite right, of course. Dems are courageous and acting in the best interests of the country, while Republicans are evil liars, their supporters haven't the comprehension skills of a 4 year old, and they are trying to kill everyone by taking away their health benefits. And you are doing much to promote civil discourse. Next thing you know, Republicans will have the temerity to actually defend themselves. The swine.

Posted by: FlyDiesel | January 18, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Macro versus Micro

Medicine ain’t what it used to be. In some ways, it’s better; in some ways, worse. The better reflects the consequences of honest work by scientists and technologists. The worse reflects the self-serving machinations of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, economists, and self-styled healthcare-gurus, most of whom never took a course in biology, let alone graduated medical school. These manipulators of our medical system operate on a macro-level; that is, they manipulate medical delivery to an entire population, as a whole, on a societal basis. In contrast, other than in Public Health, physicians operate on a micro-level; that is, they provide medical care to individual patients on a personal basis ... one patient at a time.

The consequences to the nation of the political manipulators controlling the medical system since 1964 have been economically disastrous. Medicare and Medicaid alone are bankrupting the country. ObamaCare likely only will aggravate the disaster by increasing costs and delaying care, if not denying it completely. As they say in Brooklyn, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Meanwhile, what have been the consequences on the micro-level affecting you as an individual patient? Among others, for one, loss of continuity of care ... a traditional cornerstone of good medicine. For a second, decreased medical attention; the system now precludes most physicians themselves listening to their patients in the context of each patient’s medical history while the physician still earns a reasonable living.

Next time that you face a serious illness, if you have any sense, you will want a physician (M.D.) not some alternative “healthcare-provider”. You will want that physician to take the time necessary to review your medical history; to listen to your complaint; and to communicate with other of your physicians, as indicated and proper. In the politically-motivated and politically-manipulated (as opposed to scientifically-based and scientifically-driven) system of today, what is the probability of your receiving that high quality of care?

For a tale based upon a true story of one man’s experience when facing the challenging diagnosis of prostatic cancer, you might wish to visit “Nation On Fire” (www.nationonfire.com). The most recent posting describes how the current system functioned on the micro-level for this one patient and may function for you should the heavy hand of illness or injury strike.

Posted by: mossgr | January 18, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree that both the Left & the Right need to get their butts in gear and figure out new ways to allow our economy to grow, and produce jobs.

Regarding Health Care, that bill was passed so quickly and nobody really knew what was in it, including some who voted for it. Remember when Pelosi said, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it". Yeah, that's great.

There's a price for pay for everything, the good and the bad won't be seen for a decade or two. Next time you go to the doctor, ask them, "So what do you think of the Health Care Bill". I have yet to meet a doc who’s in favor of it. If we make the Health care industry so that these docs are told who to take for patents and how much money they can make, at some point the best & brightest will not go to school to become doctors. Let face it, our Heath Insurance is screwed up in the US, but our Health CARE is top notch. I'd like that to stay the same for when I'm retired and start getting sick.

We all can agree that something has to be done, but my god, it’s such a big deal that shouldn’t have been rushed. I mean we’re talking about lives here. We’re talking about bills that could potentially put multimillion dollar companies out of business. Now how does that create jobs?

Think about it, you’re a Hot dog vendor in the city, and the state says to you, “Sorry, but those are bad for people, so you can only sell 20 a day”. How do you think that would affect your life? You’d be out of businesses.
The government needs to get out of the way and let our economy work.

Posted by: Superman1976 | January 18, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Medicare and Medicaid fraud adds up to over $100BN annually. Can anyone imagine the amount of the future Healthcare fraud? Did the CBO include this fraud in its estimates?

Posted by: jmk55 | January 18, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Medicare and Medicaid fraud adds up to over $100BN annually. Can anyone imagine the amount of the future Healthcare fraud? Did the CBO include this fraud in its estimates?

Posted by: jmk55 | January 18, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Tune in to CSPAN and listen to the healthcare debate. LEARN THE TRUTH
Put the lies to rest. The doctors, insurers are real, knowledgable and are speaking the truth.

Posted by: brnfream2 | January 18, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Ding-Dong school is back in session. What would you all do if you had to work for a living, pay into Social Security and pay your own health care costs. Great start for those who say "NO" who have not worked in 2 years.Neither Democrat or Republican - I am an American.

Posted by: vhpeddler | January 18, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Obama healthcare bill was passed only because the democrats held a majority in the house and senate, it was rammed through without the proper discussions taking place between both parties....it must be repealed and in depth discussions then take place between both parties with a common sense approach to a national health care bill without the requirement that "everyone must belong" which is the socialist way of administering government healthcare.......

Posted by: bstone1931 | January 18, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The anger over the health care debate was not that it wasn't worthwhile, but that it was a diversion from the more urgent task of job creation. But now that it has passed,and by a supermajority, leave it alone and get on with job creation.
That is all we've heard is jobs, jobs jobs.
I agree now quit the whining about healthcare and get to work.
It would do the house well not to misinterpret the election results, and get to work on job creation.
This debate on Health Care repeal is a waste of time and political suicide.

Posted by: backsmith2 | January 18, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

------------------------
Not to misinterpret what? The majority of those elected ran on the promise to repeal obamacare and as a result the Dems got a "shellacking". Not much to misinterpret there.

How many times has obama promised to put a "lazer focus" on job creation? How's that worked for us? After wasting $8oo billion dollars he now says that there were no "shovel ready" jobs.

The 110th and 111th wasted lots of time on useless votes. But then again we saw where that got them.

Come on 2012!

Posted by: cathyjs | January 18, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Where are the Jobs, Republicans?
Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs...

See you tomorrow, Shirkers.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | January 18, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Macro versus Micro

Medicine ain’t what it used to be. In some ways, it’s better; in some ways, worse. The better reflects the consequences of honest work by scientists and technologists. The worse reflects the self-serving machinations of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, economists, and self-styled healthcare-gurus, most of whom never took a course in biology, let alone graduated medical school. These manipulators of our medical system operate on a macro-level; that is, they manipulate medical delivery to an entire population, as a whole, on a societal basis. In contrast, other than in Public Health, physicians operate on a micro-level; that is, they provide medical care to individual patients on a personal basis ... one patient at a time.

The consequences to the nation of the political manipulators controlling the medical system since 1964 have been economically disastrous. Medicare and Medicaid alone are bankrupting the country. ObamaCare likely only will aggravate the disaster by increasing costs and delaying care, if not denying it completely. As they say in Brooklyn, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Meanwhile, what have been the consequences on the micro-level affecting you as an individual patient? Among others, for one, loss of continuity of care ... a traditional cornerstone of good medicine. For a second, decreased medical attention; the system now precludes most physicians themselves listening to their patients in the context of each patient’s medical history while the physician still earns a reasonable living.

Next time that you face a serious illness, if you have any sense, you will want a physician (M.D.) not some alternative “healthcare-provider”. You will want that physician to take the time necessary to review your medical history; to listen to your complaint; and to communicate with other of your physicians, as indicated and proper. In the politically-motivated and politically-manipulated (as opposed to scientifically-based and scientifically-driven) system of today, what is the probability of your receiving that high quality of care?

For a tale based upon a true story of one man’s experience when facing the challenging diagnosis of prostatic cancer, you might wish to visit “Nation On Fire” (www.nationonfire.com). The most recent posting describes how the current system functioned on the micro-level for this one patient and may function for you should the heavy hand of illness or injury strike.

Posted by: mossgr | January 18, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The Obama healthcare bill was passed only because the democrats held a majority in the house and senate, it was rammed through without the proper discussions taking place between both parties....it must be repealed and in depth discussions then take place between both parties with a common sense approach to an national health care bill without the requirement that "everyone must belong" which is the socialist way of administering government healthcare.......

Posted by: bstone1931 | January 18, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

How is having more people (thus more money for insurance companies, thus more staff) going to healthcare facilities (thus needig more staff), going to cost jobs? The old GOP fear-mongering machine rolls on. Where is their plan? Oh yeah, don't become ill. Why does the GOP hate the middle-class?

Posted by: jckdoors | January 18, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Why, you might ask, would the GOP take up the healthcare bill at this point? Well, there are only a few logical reasons, namely:
1. That it will be a fantastic benefit to American citizens and not the disaster Republicans claim-
2. That it will reduce the deficit just as it is supposed to-
3. That hospitals, doctors, and health insurers will remain open and functioning, rather than collapse in economic chaos as predicted by the evidence-free GOP-

But really, there is only one reason to oppose healthcare reform=
Because Dems (and in particular a certain courageous and groundbreaking president) will look like the heroes they are for standing up to the GOP and risking (or suffering) political suicide to give well deserved benefits to the citizens of America once it becomes clear the GOP was just blowing smoke to scare people into giving up benefits that every other westernized citizenry takes for granted.
This will place the seeds of doubt (which have already sprouted into Trees of Certainty in anyone with a four year old’s observational skills) in the minds of ‘Independents’ that the GOP is trustworthy or working for the American People.

In short, the success of healthcare reform will signal the death-knell for the lying GOP’s successful run of lying to America to get America to fail itself and its people.

It was a good run, Republicans. You have sentenced millions of Americans to early or entirely preventable death with your constant delays in scientific research and technological advancement past the current cash cows of coal, oil, big pharma, big insurance, and big finance that your lips are permanently grafted to the teat of.

Enlightenment will come, and when it does…R.I.P. the G.O.P.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | January 18, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

backsmith2 saif:
"The anger over the health care debate was not that it wasn't worthwhile, but that it was a diversion from the more urgent task of job creation."

That's really the point. It places undue hardship and especially uncertainty on the economy at exactly the wrong time. And, there was not and is not majority popular approval of the bill. Even in the Senate, a 'supermajority' was not used for final passage; it was squeezed through using reconciliation aka the 'nuclear option'.

Posted by: FlyDiesel | January 18, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The GOP wants their buddies in the insurance business to be able to cancel a person's policy at any time, regardless of how much money they may have paid as premiums; wants them to be able to deny coverage to the 110 million Americans with pre-existing conditions; wants the poor and the sick to die in the gutters.

Posted by: Chagasman | January 18, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

We need to stop calling it the "Health Care Law" nobody wants to repeal the Health Care Law - we want to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordability Law. Because it does not live up to its name.

1. We are supposed to get cheaper rates and save money based on cutting $50 Billion a year over 10 years from Medicare. We have not cut 50 Billion last year and we are not on track to cu 50 Billion this year - meaning the CBO restrictions are not coming true and so the cost of the law is skyrocketing!

2. Why are the insurance companies required to eliminate the limit on coverage, but the current Director of Medicare freely admits he will ration benefits - so the day I move from regular insurance to Medicare, my coverage is restricted.

3. If it is so great, whe did Congress exempt themselves?

4. If it is so great, why are so many unions asking for waivers to implement coverage?

5. If it was so great, why did we have so many perks in the package to get the bill passed?

6. The President stated it was not a tax - but in Federal Court, the US is stating the tax parts of the Constitution allow the law to force everyone to buy insurance.

7. There is no language in the law to guide people to live healthier lives, in fact becuase it restricts treating people differently. Smokers and people diagnosed as obese due to non-genetic causes are allowed to pay the same rates as healthy people - even though they will cost more and drive up health care costs for everyone.

8. The "Tax" for non-compliance is still cheaper than buying a policy - so it is still cheaper to wait until I am in ambulance to get coverage.

9. Ok - reality check 101, name a country that can afford its national health care? Even the UK is looking to make drastic (really drastic cuts) in how the system works. Canada is looking to provide some more private participation to make the long waits go down. Did the new Medicare guru see that? Oh, he still has his rose colored glasses on.

10. Hmmm, estimated 30 million (10percent) of Americans did not have Health Care - of which at least 10 million made enough to buy on their own but chose not to buy. So to cover 20 million people (less than 10 percent of the American citizens) we are going to convert Health Care to Federal control - hire thousands of IRS agents, set-up thousands of people on boards just to satisfy and destory America?

11. Sorry I forgot we had to pass it to see what was in it - what was the deal about the 1099 for spendign over $600... They knew it was a hassle when they passed the bill, but needed hard core figures...

Anyway - kill the Patient Protection and Affordability Law and get something that works and is not pure political C ARP!
.

Posted by: ChicagoDon | January 18, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Only 7 hours of debate with limited amendments? Why do the Republicans insist on cramming this bill down the throats of Americans? We need to slow down.

Posted by: zackool | January 18, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

My biggest concern with this healthcare is will it end up like the VA healthcare. The veteran's administration healthcare for our soldiers is atrocious.

Posted by: blondeagent99 | January 18, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The headline should be: GOP Jumps Shark in Record Time and in Record Numbers

Can't wait til they take up laws requiring us to pollute faster, give more handouts to corporations, socialize corporate debt, and eat dirt and die rather than cost taxpayers 17 cents.

GOP Integrity-R.I.P.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | January 18, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The anger over the health care debate was not that it wasn't worthwhile, but that it was a diversion from the more urgent task of job creation. But now that it has passed,and by a supermajority, leave it alone and get on with job creation.
That is all we've heard is jobs, jobs jobs.
I agree now quit the whining about healthcare and get to work.
It would do the house well not to misinterpret the election results, and get to work on job creation.
This debate on Health Care repeal is a waste of time and political suicide.

Posted by: backsmith2 | January 18, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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