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Readers Battle Over Health Care Plan

Our Readers Who Comment are in full battle form this morning as they debate President Obama's plan to expand and overhaul the U.S. health-care system by creating a $634 billion reserve fund over the next decade, as Ceci Connolly reports.

There are those who are very happy with the present situation and who obviously haven't visited an urban emergency room in years. There are those who blame steadily escalating health care costs on lawyers specializing in malpractice suits. There are those who blame illegal immigrants for placing huge expensive burdens on the system.

There are those who worry about creating what they see as another costly entitlement program. A doctor notes the cost of medical eduction (he's still paying off his loan) but argues that universal care is a must. And there are the arguments that always come up about the quality (or absence thereof, depending on your means) of universal care systems in Canada and Europeon nations.

We are in for a challenging debate.

We'll start with an exchange that pretty well summarizes the polarizing views on this subject. kevintheelder wrote, "The question we should return to every time is why would we want government run health care, when it's undisputed that we currently have the best health care system in the world. Further, it's widely acknowledged that wherever government run health care is in existence, it is a failure....."

gdesignr1 replied, "Kevin, you obviously do not own own a business and more than likely are lucky enough to have your employer pick up the tab for you... Do you even know how much health care costs on average?... It is an outrageous price tag considereing how much out of pocket we have to pay for services in addition to insurance bill..."

And Voiceinthedesert added, "Please go live in France for a few weeks. It really is better, MUCH better, than here. I lived there for three years. I'm outraged at how people are treated here. We've grown so accustomed to being poorly treated, we don't even know it... Sorry if facts get in the way of your ideology."

MNUSA wrote, "It's way past time we had universal health care and joined the rest of the industrialized world. And yes, please ask the Canadians, the English, the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, etc. how they like their health care. They can't imagine life without it. Go for it, President Obama!"

cerrillos asked, "...what about limiting the income of the trial lawyers from health-related lawsuits? These folks also are responsible for driving up the cost of medical care in this country. Could it be they are exempt because the majority of those writing and voting on these policies are lawyers themselves?..."

Matt3046 said, "In the end, Obama will need to raise taxes on everyone making over $250, not $250K, to pay for these wonderful ideas."

johnbowers wrote, "I now have a goal to never earn more than 250K per year."

bruce22 wrote, "What a joke. We don't have enough to fund Social Security, and he wants to create another entitlement program. This makes no sense."

mharwick said, "Talk to most physicians and they will tell you that Medicare does not pay anywhere near enough... Squeezing Doctors even more will end up reducing the quality of health care in America. Canadians come here for their surgeries as the waiting list is quite long there. Brits are not happy with their care either.
Socialized medicine is anathema to America."

morningglory51 wrote, "Here's another idea. How about Biden and Obama working on a plan to ferret out illegals from the health care system instead of encouraging them to burden the system?"

drblevy13 wrote, "As a doctor in a major metropolitan university, it makes me sick to think that fellow Americans would hide behind the guise of "small government" to justify prioritizing people with means over those without..."

nnizy replied, "...There is only so much money... and so when amount of money require for healthcare exceeds the supply, then there will have to be cuts. So right now the evil insurance companies are making cuts, but under your plan the government will have to make the same choices and my guess they will make some truly draconian choices..."

Then drblevy13 said, " wife and I are $260,000 in debt from medical education, which has spanned the past 10 years. That will take me decades to pare down....Healthcare personnel's salaries are not what is killing healthcare; the exclusion of so many people from insurance is at fault... I wouldn't be writing here if I didn't believe that universal healthcare would ultimately benefit us both. I would take a pay cut for that..."

bobaloo2 charitably offered that "this boondoggle is for the poor people who don't pay taxes. the ethnics that make up obomas electorate are the ones who will benefit from this stupid health care plan. oboma will run the country into the ground if not stopped. any ideas?"

And milton3 asked, "what do yall think about this idea to lower costs: still treat anyone who comes to the hospital as we do now for humanitarian purposes, but if they can't pay the cash price for the service when they leave, require them to prove citizenship. if they can't, they are taken into custody for deportation proceedings. ie, no pay, no stay."

Back on point, carezz said, "The fact is that most average Americans will lose a loved one close to them do to cancer or long-term illness, and along with that all their savings. Health care reform is long overdue... Human life is not a game of Russian roulette. but our society has made it exactly that."

We'll close with the cheap shot exchange of the day:
seawolfR wrote of Obama's plan, ""Proof kids do like to experiment..."

And RASHOMON1 asked, "Are you talking about Bush and his experimental war?"

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  February 26, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Health , Medical Care , Obama  | Tags: Health Care, Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Readers Dissect Obama Speech, Applause
Next: Do Campaign Contributions Buy a Judge?


This is needed and long over due and yes there are parts of some one-payer systems that are failures but that doesn't negate their overall success, nor mean we must make the same mistakes. We will also have to overhaul the tort system to go along with this and come up with a better way than the AMA's method (non existent) to weed out bad doctors. But ask most doctors if they would settle for 70% of their present payments in exchange for having their malpractice payments cut in half or better (at present some pay half their gross for insurance). It will if done properly lower the cost to business and individuals and increase our competitiveness in the world markets and needs to be done.
Not all parts of “Capitalism” are either perfect or applicable to all problems we face, nor is “Socialism” bad in all cases, the trick as a Society is to know what is best for each problem.

Posted by: notthatdum | February 26, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

It is undisputed that some people never question their assumptions or test them against actual facts.

Posted by: nodebris | February 26, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"It is Undisputed we currently have the best health care system in the world." What world do you live in?

Posted by: linda_521 | February 26, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

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