Monday, March 22, 2010

A few thoughts on health care

1. This is like any other big change in our lives, like buying a house or taking a new job -- some of the things that will be a big deal are things we haven't even thought about, and a lot of the things we're worried about will not be a big deal. I'm glad the health-care bill passed. But of course there will be problems with it, and it'll be inefficient in places, just like every other government project from Social Security to the military. Whatever the problems are, at least in my mind, are not as important as the prospect of providing health insurance for millions of uninsured Americans.

2. As much as all of us would love for government to be clean and clear, it's always messy and confusing and frustrating. President Obama and his Congressional leaders did what every other president and Congress has done -- they used the power they had to do what they think is important. That's what we elect them to do.

3. As a purely political issue, I suspect this will help Republicans in the midterm elections this fall, because most of the benefits of health-care reform won't have kicked in yet. By 2012, as the heat dies down and some of the benefits take effect, it'll be a plus for Democrats. After that, it won't be much of an issue one way or the other. It'll just be part of our lives.

4. One of the underrated effects of health-care reform is actually, I'd think, something conservatives would like -- it'll now become easier to freelance or start your own business. Most of us get insurance through our employers, and for most of us it's way too expensive to buy on our own. Now freelancers or entrepreneurs can go to a national insurance exchange to find a better deal. (Here's a Q&A on the topic from August -- I don't think the details are out of date, but holler if they are.)

5. I listened to a little bit of Rush Limbaugh today, wondering if he'd mention anything about Costa Rica. He said on his show recently that health-care reform might force him to "go to Costa Rica" -- although he said later that by "go," he didn't mean "move," he meant "fly there for treatment." Either way, I didn't hear him mention it, but I didn't catch the whole show. Did he bring it up?

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

This bill forces Americans to buy a service. If you do not, Govt. fines you. Where are my rights and liberties to choose now, Tommy??

zeezil said...

Let me get this straight. Liberals want to carve out a new entitlement (at a cost of $2.5 million over only the first 10 years of this new entitlement program) to cover what you claim are 31 million new enrollees (which will balloon to at least 43 million once illegals are covered) but of that 31 million, only about 8 million are truly poor. These 8 million likely qualify for Medicaid but for some reason haven't taken advantage of it and enrolled or for some government imposed restriction aren’t included. And for this, liberals want to blow up the greatest health care system in the world and put it under complete government control. This new entitlement will create a massive government socialistic takeover of the health care industry that we cannot afford since we are already broke, will create 159 new government agencies and departments, will need 16,500 new IRS agents to enforce, will cut $500 billion from Medicare, will increase taxes by $500 billion, will require you to purchase government approved health care that will lead to spiralling higher costs for the policy, will fine you if you don't take and pay for the government approved plan for you, will do nothing to increase competition such as purchasing insurance across state lines, will do nothing to stop frivolous lawsuits (tort reform) and the resultant need to waste billions of dollars of defensive medicine that doctors must engage in, will interfere with the doctor-patient relationship through a bureaucratic command and control arrangement, will dump millions of new patients into an already overburdened system, won't provide new doctors to handle the crush but will instead drive doctors out of the medical profession, will lead inevitably to rationing, denial of services and a far poorer quality of health care for those already with insurance (the productive members of society.)

Hey, the liberal idiots are right! What's not to like???!!!

zeezil said...

Sorry for the typo...make it $2.5 TRILLION

Anonymous said...

So now we all have to have health insurance - but nothing is done about healthcare COSTS. If healthCARE wasn't so expensive, we all wouldn't need health INSURANCE. What a concept! And anyone who says our premiums will go down, is nuts.

Anonymous said...

Zeezil, you can stop spreading lies and hate now. The bill passed.

Anonymous said...

The teabaggers are in full meltdown. With all the time they waste hating, they fall further and further behind.

Ben Glec said...

This is how insurance works:

You pool risk to reduce the cost to individuals.

The bigger the pool, the lower the costs.

How do we make a big pool? Let every American participate.

How do we do that? We require everyone to have health insurance and provide subsidies to help those who can't afford it.

Will this cost money? Yes.

Will it save American lives? Yes.

Keep spewing the hate the Tea Baggers feed you and you will continue to discredit yourself and your cause.

tommy tomlinson said...

Anon 3:02: This is an interesting point... but the truth is that Americans are forced to pay for health care now, just not in the same way. Let's say somebody who doesn't have insurance gets hit by a car tomorrow and is catastrophically injured. The hospital might be able to go after that person's assets (unless he declares bankruptcy), but somebody else -- the rest of us -- are picking up most of the bill.

In that way, health insurance is much like car insurance -- you're not just paying for yourself, you're keeping other people from having to pay FOR you.

Anonymous said...

Tommy,

Did you check Canada for Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger after Bush won?

No?

Didn't think so.brat

Anonymous said...

How similar is this bill to what Bob Dole proposed in the early 90's? Was he labeled a Communist? How about Nixon? Was he labeled a communist for his plan???

Anonymous said...

Hey Tommy, Why do you support a president who goes against the wishes of the majority of the people? Donny

Benson said...

As far as your "right to choose," you still have it- you may choose the insurance plan that works best for you. If you choose to not buy insurance, that is your right. The fines you will be charged are nothing compared to the expense of the care that everyone else would be forced to cover for you when you, practicing your rights, have to go to the emergency room for your health care. You have the right to smoke, too, but your insurance premiums will go up. Is that unfair?

Zeezil, the US does not currently have the "greatest health care system in the world." In 2000 we were ranked 37th (WHO), behind Costa Rica, and the CIA World Factbook ranks the US 50th in life expectancy, despite spending more as a percentage of our GDP on health care than any country in the world. If 50th and 37th are acceptable rankings for you, that's fine; they are not acceptable for me. We can argue over the details, like Tommy said, but this bill represents an effort to improve a major part of all Americans' lives.

But wait- I guess I'm just an idiot, so none of this means anything to you. Maybe this will: if you're so unhappy, then work to elect people who do what you want. That's what the liberal idiots did, and that's why this bill passed. No conspiracy, no corruption: democracy.

Anonymous said...

Zeezil, you can quit quoting Rush and your fellow klansmen. The US is finally catching up to what every other industrialized nation already does. It's high time we assimilate into the global community here. Of course, some crochety old rednecks will still rant and stomp their feet, but hey,. that generation is dying off quickly. I'm just glad we've finally turned a corner on this.

Anonymous said...

Since when have republicans supported or cared about Medicare? I mean, come on.

Anonymous said...

Tommy,

The auto insurance analogy is severely flawed.

Auto insurance doesn't cover parking tickets or traffic tickets. This healthcare bill - especially with the pre-existing conditions language - will provide more and more benefits to those who make unhealthy lifestyle choices at the expense of those who practice healthy habits.

Auto insurance also doesn't cover the cost of oil changes and gasoline, but people expect to get free (or at least low co-pay) office visits every time they have the sniffles.

Anonymous said...

tommy@3:14

Here is the problem - say that same person who didn't have insurance suddenly does. The taxpayers are now providing him an insurance subsidy at $2,000 per month. So now, the same guy has been costing taxpayers $2,000 a month for his whole life. He is catastrophically injured and it costs $100,000. The insurance company pays the $100,000 and then raises everyone else's rate anyways. Nothing stops them from raising rates. Nothing much changes for the insurance companies except they do not get to choose thier products and they have to cover anyone. They still get to choose the prices. How much do you think they will charge someone with a pre-condition that has government subsidies?

Anonymous said...

Benson,

The WHO automatically increases the rankings of countries with government-run/government-mandated healthcare systems, so their rankings are inherently dishonest.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely difficult to afford good insurance if you work for or own a small business. You end up with a high deductible and no dental/vision for sure. It seems that more large businesses are cutting benefits also. I may be wrong, but it seems like those who argue against more universal coverage must have good coverage now.

Anonymous said...

Tommy,

Did you really just compare the inefficiency in Social Security to our Military? Our Social Security system is failing and our military prevented numerous attacks since 9/11. I see the comparison (sarcasm).

Point out some errors in your statements:
(1) "By 2012....some..benefits take effect.." - Everything I've read shows it taking effect in 2014; however the tax increases start in 2010.

(2) Rush clarified his statement regarding Costa Rica during the same show. Certain mainstream media members took his comments out-of-context or most likely got them from a liberal blog that took an excerpt of his statement.

It's sad, out of the few simplistic thoughts you shared, not one mentioned taxes, more importantly, raising taxes during a recession.

Members in media are too out of touch; look at Lesley Stahl of ‘60 Minutes’ who commented this morning that she can’t tell if this bill will raise taxes, even though it will be the highest tax increase in history. Even a liberal on MSNBC called her out for that stupid statement.

Joshua said...

Mostly agree with you Tommy. Though I think this is a great first step I would have liked to have seen a public option, but that was lost in the compromise. Those on the right who think the bill goes too far are angry, those on the left who think the bill didn't go far enough are angry, I think that's the measure of a good compromise.

Anonymous said...

"Zeezil, the US does not currently have the "greatest health care system in the world." In 2000 we were ranked 37th (WHO), behind Costa Rica, and the CIA World Factbook ranks the US 50th in life expectancy, despite spending more as a percentage of our GDP on health care than any country in the world. If 50th and 37th are acceptable rankings for you, that's fine; they are not acceptable for me."

Problem is, socialization of health care is not the answer. In addition, some of those numbers are skewed - for example, babies born alive are not counted in many countries if they die within a few hours of birth. That raises the life expectancy numbers by a lot.

Anonymous said...

Hello it's the anonymous 3:20 writer returning. Not sure how "brat" got appended to my comment but it was not meant to. I'm not calling you a brat, Tommy , but I still do want to know if you held Baldwin & Basinger to the same standards you're now applying to Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

And where is the influx of healthcare providers to take on the multitudes of new patients on the horizon? One major proponent to keeping medical costs down is reduce utilization of medical services unless necessary. I'm concerned that folks new to the "insurance world" will go to a physician for a hangnail, causing wait times to skyrocket and availability to fall sharply. It's not just about having insurance, one must also have some sense of consumerism - know when to go to the doctor or the ER. Overutilization drives cost - it's happening already, but soon will increase exponentially. Not good.

Joshua said...

Anonymous 3:29 -

Per the bill, insurance companies cannot rate up for pre-x, and are capped as to how much they can rate up for age. So in your example, the person with the subsidy pays the same as any of us.

Anonymous said...

TT,

Lets say I decide to pay the fine. What happens if I have to go to the hospital? Will everyone else be paying for me then?

Anonymous said...

Bad, sad ink dude.

By the way driving a car , thus buying car insurance is an option, not a requirement of maintaining status as a legal law abiding citizen.

Now we ALL have to pay for everyone, at least those willing to work for their money, instead of seeking the perpetual gov handout.

The "Spread the wealth" mantra is as anti American as you can get. So is socialized "Health Care"

Anonymous said...

The GOP is now in a death spiral. The teabaggers and Rush sunk the GOP! Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Totalitarianism! I am SO ANGRY! Rush was right! This is NOT the Carolina way! Stop Yelling!!!!

Joshua said...

...one last thing; can we stop calling this "socialization of healthcare"? These are completely market based reforms! There are new regulations on the industry, but the government didn't just buy an insurance company. The industry is still run by private enterprise. The government just created 32 million new customers for health insurance companies.How in gods name is that "socialism"?

Anonymous said...

Hey right wingers, was Margaret Thatcher a socialist?

Anonymous said...

Tommy,

Please address the issue with the increasing number of citizens in the pool and the decreasing number of doctors.

Also, please address the issue that everyone is required to have a top-of-the-line plan, when a high-deductible plan would be sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Joshua -

A.) Who decides what kind of Insurance every individual gets?

B.) Who decides how much an individual must pay or be penalized for not having that insurance?

C.) Is the government now responsible for every single American's right to health insurance?

Anonymous said...

You know, it is funny. When Republicans were in the White House, for example George Bush (Sr or Jr for that matter), it was always a smile, a smirk and a "You just do not understand..." Now that someone can actually make an intelligent argument and get meaningful legislation passed, it is amazing how aggressive all you laid back right wingers have become.

Joshua said...

That's regulation. You can argue its too far or too much, and we could have a valid disagreement on that, but its not socialism. Govt would have to own the health insurance companies for this to be considered socialism. Look it up.

Anonymous said...

Rergardless what side of the fence you are on with this issue, realize that it's current form is not what will ultimately be, or not be, law.

In particular, the attorney generals from several states are already lining up to challenge the constitionality of the "must buy or be fined" clause. It a very clear violation of our constitutional rights and will be eventually be sticken from any final version of this bill. Only states can force such a thing...the federal government can not... and that is a fact that will be proven in court.

tommy tomlinson said...

Donny@ 3:22 -- I've seen polls that say people are against health-care reform. I've also seen polls that have consistently said people are FOR health-care reform. A lot of polling depends on how you word the question.

I'll just say this: Obama made health-care reform one of his key campaign points. And the majority of American voters elected him.

But let's take it one more step: The whole point of a republic is that you don't just vote for somebody who does everything you want him to do. The point is that you vote for somebody who will do what he (or she) thinks is right. Whatever else you want to say about all this, clearly Obama believes this is the right thing to do. I think that's how the electoral process is supposed to work.

Anonymous said...

Do these teabaggers realize that Eisnehower introduced a plan in 1954 to reimburse insurance companies that extended insurance to the uninsured?

So...Eisnhower was a communist????

Who knew?

Anonymous said...

You go Tommy Boy!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news... not only have the Democrats passed the bill approving affordable health care, but they have also ripped the lid off what passes for the Republican party these days--- as the vote approached the sweaty desperation of the racists and corporate fat cats on the right caused them to tip their collective hand and show the true principles they support ---greed, bigotry and cynical manipulation of the American people.

Anonymous said...

Tommy, I agree with your comments about the electoral process 100%.

Anonymous said...

I can see that a lot of the comments here are from people who have no idea of what is in the health care bill. Their so-called knowledge comes from political sound bites or from something said on a radio talk show.

Anonymous said...

"Problem is, socialization of health care is not the answer. In addition, some of those numbers are skewed - for example, babies born alive are not counted in many countries if they die within a few hours of birth. That raises the life expectancy numbers by a lot:

Those numbers are very skewed. We also count still births in our infant mortality numbers while France and others do not. One of the reasons the WHO stoped rankings like this. Also if you read through the hundreds of pages on the WHO site, they even admit the US gives a clearer picture of their overall health care system than other member nations and that our life expectancy is hurt by our propencity to get killed at a young age in auto accidents(not a problem in many Eropean nations that are held in such esteem for their rankings).

Anonymous said...

In my sixteen years as a practicing physician I have waited my entire professional career for these last 24 hours. I watched in horror what happened in 1994, and was sorrowful that the unfortunate outcome gave the right-wing in this country new hope as they swept into both chambers of Congress that November with their contract on America.

As the events unfolded and the debated went on late into the night yesterday, as the angry white people outside hurled racial slurs and death threats to the Speaker of the House, the passage of this healthcare reform measure crytallized for me what this whole last fourteen months was about.

It was Franklin Roosevelt who told the people mired in the Great Depression and the horrors of WWII: 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself'. It is on fear alone, particularly in the last decade the GOP has actually crippled the very middle Americans (largely white, anglo-saxon, southern, rural, and of Christian heritage) they pretend to be 'saving'. These politicians and Tea Party leaders tacitly condone racisim, sexism, and homophobia because the old order of the 1950s is long gone. The avalanche of change--which the GOP hastened with free trade, union busting, and outsourcing and derivatives--is the reason that fear burns in these people's lives. The healthcare bill stood as a proxy to trick these gullable Americans into taking a laudable goal and turn it into an evil--thus deflecting the failure of the GOP since 1980 to do anything about healthcare.

Anonymous said...

Tommy -

The polls all say the public wants reform - just not this bill (but you knew that). Also, random question, would you support the repeal of the bill if republicans win big in November considering the "electoral process is supposed to work"?

Anonymous said...

Tommy, thank you for taking polls out-of-context. Sure the majority are for health care reform; however the majority don't support this bill. Also, by an even larger margin, the majority don't agree with the way Obama and the Democrats have passed the bill.

J said...

Here's my 2 cents, stripped of hysteria, partisanship and name-calling:

With this bill, 32 million more people are to be insured. The vast majority of them are uninsured because they cannot afford to be. So they will look to the government to pay through the other payment programs they are already using.

Adding 32 million people to the customer base without an equal representative increase of the providers means longer waits for treatment. Providers will not receive additional compensation, because most of the additional customers can't afford to pay for the care, and the amount of money coming from the government to cover them will be smaller than what is promised ($500 million in payments to hospitals is already being whacked to help pay for this bill). Insurance companies will in turn pay less than they do today for many services, and premiums to those that do pay will increase significantly. This will decrease the pay of the doctors.

Doctors will tire of working longer and harder for less money, and many will find another way to make a living. This could easily lead to rationing.

I'd love to be wrong on all of this, but am extremely skeptical. I just don't see how this is going to insure everyone and lower costs at the same time.

I would have much rather seen legitimate tort reform, true 50-state competition, and for ALL businesses to be able to deduct health care costs from their taxes instead of just large corporations getting that benefit.

Jumper said...

For the record, Tommy, if you get hit by a car, the car insurance pays for the injuries. If they are uninsured, then your comment may apply.

Jumper said...

And shut down the commie Interstate Highway System! The totalitarians took my taxes and just did it without my permission! I will never use it! (Well, unless I need to.)

Anonymous said...

The stupidity of the teabaggers is staggering. Enjoy your miserable lives!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until Sarah Palin, a TRUE American, wins the Presidency! She'll turn back the clock on all of this nonsense! Go Sarah!

Anonymous said...

Tommy, you said under current law if an uninsured person is hit by a car, then we all pick up the tab. That's right. We do. CURRENTLY. That person is not left in the street. He/She is given care and the taxpayers pay. Why do we need this current law, then? We're still paying for those who can't or won't buy insurance. It's just that now we have a whole new level of beaurocracy to pay for, and the government can now tell us what to do. Oh, and all of you with insurance who think this is so great, your premiums are going up. Drastically. Let's see if you like this then.

tommy tomlinson said...

Anon 4:08 -- if the GOP wins big in November, and if they have the votes to repeal the bill, fine. I don't think that's going to happen. But that's how our country works -- if you don't like who's in office, give somebody else a crack and let them try to do better. So do you feel differently about that?

tommy tomlinson said...

J @ 4:16 -- I don't quite get it. Yes, 32 million new people will be on the insurance rolls. But it's not like they're not getting care now. They get it through the ER, which means they often wait until the last minute, and a minor problem becomes major and costly.

At least some of those people will be able to afford some sort of insurance now, which means they're more likely to get better (and cheaper) care up front. We're not adding 32 million more patients -- they're already patients at an ER or a doc-in-the-box or somewhere. We're just making the system work for them the way it works for the rest of us.

Mac said...

To those who are saying the American people opposed this, um, no they didn't. The president campaigned on a platform of health care reform and that was one reason he was elected. Before the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies began their $400 million bombardment designed to defeat reform, more than 65% of Americans were in favor. Amazing to see what nearly half a billion will buy you these days. Moved it what? 20 points? Wonder how much that came out to per tea partier? Or screaming hysteric on AM radio talk shows? Can anyone really believe they spent all that money because they want to see the system reformed and their abuses curbed? Get real.

America will be better off with this bill, even the hysterical right, just as we were with social security, Medicare, civil rights, women's suffrage, rural electrification, the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, and all the other liberal programs and reforms that transformed society for the better, and that these same people would never give back in a million years. Ask an elderly person if they'd give up their government-run Medicare. Of course not, but the most selfish among them would deny that same universal coverage to the very people that are paying for it - younger workers. And so the public option that would have done the most to control costs was abandoned.

Sadly, we've seen this all before. It's just much, much worse this time because the conservative fringe element is so much more organized and emboldened. They have Rush, FNC, and all the other propaganda outlets that fan the fires of irrationality and discontent.

Anonymous said...

Mac - here is a link to the largest insurance industry lobbying company which represents 1,300 insurance companies which cover 200 Million Americans - they wholeheartedly support the bill and even provide talking points similar to yours. Ask yourself if that money went to kill reform or to actually make this specific reform.

www.ahip.org

Anonymous said...

Tommy,

The more you talk, the worse your argument gets. If they already receive treatment, why do we need to spend $1 trillion dollars to provide treatment?

Our ER's will be less crowded; however our general doctors will have a waiting list. How often do normal people visit the ER? Now, compare that to how often they visit their family doctor.

Anonymous said...

Mac,

Did you miss the closed-door deals Obama and Co. made with big-Pharma to secure their backing?

Did you also miss that social security and medicare/medicaid are bankrupt? 40-hour work week? What are we France?

Anonymous said...

This isn't like buying a 'house'! Not unless by 'buy a house' you mean the government ordering you to pay for public housing and then force you to let someone else live in it.

And what waiting room will these 30million folks go to?

Anonymous said...

Tommy, you're right. There is no real difference between forced to buy car insurance and forced to by health insurance. Right now, the rest of us are footing the bill for the uninsured to use emergency rooms as their "doctor's office." Health care should be a basic human right.

Anonymous said...

And you wonder why Obama is the gun salesman of the year.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why is it that anyone who disagrees with this bill and the way it was passed is always called a teabagger or an idiot. The goverment does not control the insurance companies, not yet anyway, maybe when they struggle down the road because of this bill, they too will become to big to fail, and they can take them over the same way as the banks and the car companies. Not all people who don't want the goverment to decide their heathcare issues are stupid, but it is easier to dismiss them as so, rather than have a debate about how this was done and how it was passed.

Joshua said...

The "repeal the bill" line I'm seeing here and elsewhere is hilarious! I think you folks need to re-watch the Schoolhouse Rock bit on how a bill becomes a law. See, the sitting president has this thing called a "veto"...

Anonymous said...

Joshua -

By some miracle, Repub's take the house and senate back by one vote each and pass a repeal bill. Then they make Obama veto it - what do you think happens in Nov. 2012?

Joshua said...

I think you're overestimating how angry people are still going to be about this in 2 years. I also don't think there's a chance that you're going to get 216 members of congress to vote to recreate the donate hole, allow insurance companies to go back to rescinding coverage from the sick, and denying children with pre-existing conditions. I have a feeling this is a bell that can't be unrung.

Joshua said...

darn auto correct!

*doughnut

Anonymous said...

What makes you think they can't pick and choose what to rescind? They will campaign on rescinding all the negative parts and none of the popular parts. They may not actually do it but it makes for great campaigning. The R will be able to say "he made you get a mandate" while at the same time saying "we like allowing for pre-conditions." They have already started with "Repeal and Replace." They will do what every politician does - tell you what you wanna hear! Not sayin its right - just seems like good politickin'!

Anonymous said...

Fluoridated water is a commie plot.

Anonymous said...

Who gets cancer treatment at the ER?

Anonymous said...

I think most of you still haven't gotten over Obama being President. I wonder if you would have the same response if the President were of ....say ... another race. Would your responses be the same if daddy Bush, Bush, Jr., Palin or McCain did this very same health care reform package. I never said whether I am for/against its' passing. However, I will say I am totally against abortion-no matter the reason. I suggest you really check yourself to make sure you know what you're upset about. Don't get ulcers over this thing or let your heart attack you.

Sam said...

November cometh. H3ll to pay.

Charlotte Observer - "We Luv Libs"

Anonymous said...

What Rush told his listens was that someone out to "take out" Obama. Not sure what that means, but it seems like a threat to me. I can't believe they haven't locked this guy up!! WOW!! In hindsight, did you see the video of the guy in the wheelchair with Parkinson's? He supported the bill and got heckled by teabaggers! Last night, I imagine many folks on the religious right were praying that this bill would get defeated. I guess Jesus, saw how the Party of Jesus treated those who suffer and how unkind people like Rush are and realized the religious right is no longer worthy of his blessings! I can't blame him. The religious right did this to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anyone wondering why those opposed to this bill are called names and ridiculed? It is part of the Liberal/Progressive/Statist playbook: Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals".

Anonymous said...

Right, cause there's no name calling from the republican party.

Anonymous said...

Tommy,
You're catching a lot of heat for your article, but I couldn't agree more with you. Change is something Americans are not used to seeing or being forced to implement- Obama has stepped in and made some good changes fast, less than 5 months in office! For better or for worse, we are in a CRISIS right now due and our leaders are here to help. It is important to remember we are all American citizens and we need to SUPPORT our country and the decisions our leaders make. TRUST.

Anonymous said...

sorry for my above typo, what i should have said is "due to lack of leadership and decision making in the past!"

Anonymous said...

Health care should be a right. Not health insurance. Fix the costs of health care and more people could afford it without having to have health insurance. Then everyone could just have catastropic insurance in the event of a major issue. If screening tests and procedures weren't so astronomical, more people would get them and pay for them. My husband had a colonscopy/endoscopy last year at CMC and the total bills from the hospital and the dr equalled $10,000. He was there for 4 hours. Yes, we have insurance that paid for a lot of it, but that cost is ridiculous, and they shouldn't have paid for that, either. Fix health care, not health insurance.

Anonymous said...

This isn't and has never been about healthcare. It is about a 100year old statist agenda of centralized government control. Through Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA, the Fed Gov is the largest provider of health care in the world. They routinely deny and ration care. By the way, they are also very broke. Yeah, let's do more of that. I'll say this while I'm at it: the statists have no idea what level of anger is out there. If you try amnesty, it will be a powder keg in this country.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Rush Limbaugh now has to go to Coasta Rica to get his illegal pill fix? Or does his housekeeper still go procure such illicit items for him? Too bad he won't give up his citizenship and move there. He could take John Edwards and Mark Sanford with him and the country would be a whole lot better off...

Anonymous said...

Still the obamunists will spend months and months after selling this forced entitlement.

All at the expense of addressing the real issue, the ground to a halt economic machine.

Focusing on "health care", before and after the fact ignoring the economy is what will have the Dems ousted in the following two elections. But the oil pan that holds lube for the engine has already begun to leak.

Now that we know we are headed to becoming a socialist state, Google that before commenting please, the playing field is forever changed. Watch and see.

If you do not think obama is a socialist reformist, stop and think about all he has said and done, and says he plans to do.

Anonymous said...

Tommy,

This is anon 3:02. What happens if I decide to pay the fine? Do I get refused treatment but Govt. still collects? If so, its extortion! If I do get treatment, then Im not paying a fine to opt out, Im paying for health coverage. I would appreciate your thoughts on why you believe a fine is justified.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone REALLY believe that doctors will find something else to do?

WHAT, for example?

I mean, seriously, what ELSE will they do that pays even HALF what they earn as doctors, even with this bill.

Anonymous said...

This is what bugs the heck out of me. Where were all of you protesters when Bush signed that 1 trillion dollar giveaway to the ultra rich? Oh! I forgot. Those were *tax cuts* and therefore created Jobs, right? How'd that work for you for the ten years the repubies held the house? Ever ask yourself why *not* keep some of our tax dollars in this country to actually help people? Ok to send better than a trillion dollars to Iraq and Afghanistan then keep it here where it can help AMERICANS. Use that fine brain God gave you people and stop listening to the entertainers.

Anonymous said...

Entitlements - What I PAY for as a TAX PAYER. Not for my taxes to go to places with names most could not find on a map.

Anonymous said...

Heck, I don't care I'm on social security....oops, are they cutting benefits?

Anonymous said...

Tommy
Love most of your columns but you're gonna need government health care to save you from the stuff you've been smoking when you wrote this column. This was the BIGGEST abuse of power and denial of rights ever forced down the throats of Americans. I don't want to pay taxes to pay for other people's healthcare. I want the ability to decide for myself when, where, why and how I get my care. Don't need Big Brother running my life. There should be a new REVOLUTION. Washington, Adams, Jefferson and others went to war for far lesser transgressions. Thinking Americans realize that everybody needs health care and a fair chance at it....BUT THIS BILL IS NOT REFORM. It won't do anything but COST< COST< COST...taxpayers and businesses will take it on the chin and that ain't America. Insurance companies will raise rates, medical device makers and other health providers will pass on cost increases to consumers. Yeah some bill....this is a real help. My a&%##$$$$. We need to impeach Obama and his F-bomb dropping, no-class Vice-President as well. And for that matter oust every one of the crooks, liars and thieves in Congress.

The Ugly Truth said...

Here's where it all started. This country was created by a group of people with roots in Western Europe. The track record of governments in that area of the world was terrible with regard to human rights, liberty, and freedom, whicyh were all but non-existent due to the crushing power of the regimes at the time.


Enter the American experiment, where our founders did everything they could to keep what is happening right now - a government forcing their will on the people because the "ruling class" deems if "for the best".

Our founders also set us up for the current situation be importing slaves. YES, we freed them as a country, but over time, because of guilt or shame or whatever other reasons, the country felt compelled to right the wrong by creating a huge dependent class that sowed the seeds we're harvesting today. Animosity runs deep. Hate is spewed. The end result is a deep-seated sense of entitlement that will persist until the country falls to it's knees under the weight of supporting a culture that won't get off their collective arses and continues to demand more and more from the working people as "their right".

Move forward into the early 20th century. More entitlements, more promises, and more looting of the productive class. The progressive agenda was set in motion, and continues to this day.

(continued)

The Ugly Truth said...

(continuation)

Next comes the 60's with immigration "reform" and an opening up of our country to all comers regardless of qualifications (see the Hart-Celler Act), which further exacerbated the problems.

Follow that with the cessation of the draft, and you have what now amounts to three generations of men in this country that have no firm idea of what indidvual accountability and responsibility are, effectively wiping out what had been the strength of the US since it's inception - principled, mature men that took responsibility for themselves, their families, their jobs, and took it seriously.

So here we are - still harvesting the weeds that were sown into the fabric of this country and further undermined by a government that is hell-bent on destroying what the US was created as - a Constitutional republic with representative government - and turning it into a pure democracy where mob rule sets the course. How's that for some change?

Like it or not, the very entitlements that the Left fights for are doing more harm than good, as it fosters the culture of "it's not fair!" and will ultimately lead to the producing class in the country moving out en masse as they too will be fed up with the goverment taking from them and giving to those who just won't work. Can you imagine the wagon train days ever happening with the sense of entitlement that exists today??? Imagine being on the Oregon Trail and being out of food and waiting for Big Government to bring you your food!!

Personally, I have not missed a paycheck since entering the workforce full time in 1982 at the age of 21. I have no college degree, but have managed to rise to a level in a major international comapny (with some 60,000 employees in the US alone) that affords me a competitive salary and decent benefits, along with the ability to save and plan for my retiremnt. How did I get here? Did I know someone? NO. Did I lean on some sort of a goverment program to force my employer to hire me because of some "program" that gave me an advantage? NO. Pure and simple - I show up every day, do the absolute best I can at what tasks are my responsibility, learn and grow my skills, and continue to reap the benefits of that course of action. IT WORKS!!!

I say immediately suspend all entitlement programs. ALL OF THEM. It's never going to be enough to satisfy those who just won't work. Take the money being siphoned off and put it to work in the realm of job creation and give everyone what our founder guaranteed - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What your individual defintion of happiness actually is can be determined by you, the individual. Just stop whining about what's fair and what's not and get off you duff already. If you won't, you're NOT ENTITLED to a house, food, a car, a cell phone, or whatever else you think you are. Go EARN it. I sthat so hard???

WashuOtaku said...

I'm interested in how the government will force people to buy health insurance or pay a fine. What if they don't pay the fine, do they go to jail? How aggrisive is the government wanting to really force people to buy health insurance.

Also, in one of your replys you compared health insurance with car insurance. I agree that is a similiar arguement, except car insurance is at the state level while health insurance is at federal level. I can see why several states are already pushing it through the courts about fed vs. state power. This will be interesting how all this is played out.

Anonymous said...

To The Ugly Truth - well said!! I think you should run for office.

Anonymous said...

Would it be ok with the states rights crowd if states instituted a mandate to pay for insurance?

Anonymous said...

The ugly truth has quite an abbreviated version of American history, and a little revisionist at that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tommy, I am actually a proponent of health care reform, but what happened is very sad. Somehow, just like the democrats did with the "Education" lottery in NC and SC, they have now convinced folks that Health insurance premiums will actually go DOWN, and you won't have to wait for weeks or months to get a procedure done like they do in Canada, UK, Australia, etc etc - basically any other country that has national health care.... Folks, STOP drinking the kool-aid... Look at our school's finances... the BILLIONS of dollars generated by the lottery hasn't saved them or saved teacher's jobs.. This health care bill is the same thing.. SMOKE and Mirrors that you have let convince you again... Please remember this when we are all going to Costa Rica, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, etc - for excellent health care AND a vacation...

Scott said...

The Ugly Truth seems to suumarize it pretty well...there are some points missing along the timelne, but the gist of the story is dead on. Work = reward, no work SHOULD = no reward. What's wrong with that, for crying out loud?

It strikes me as to the point, and without the stereotypical bashing and blaming. There's plenty of that to go around from both sides of the aisle.

What I keep asking myself is - who's gonna pay for all of this? I surely do not trust anyone in DC to make decisions on my behalf, and I'm betting I'm not alone.

zeezil said...

So Benson believes the propaganda from the WHO, a UN controlled agency. That same anti-American one world government cabal of marxists? You liberals obviously have no capacity for deductive reasoning nor the ability to think analytically.
-------------------------------

10 Facts about American Health Care

Fact No. 1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.

Fact No. 2: Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.

Fact No. 3: Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.

Fact No. 4: Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.

Fact No. 5: Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.

Fact No. 6: Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the U.K.

Fact No. 7: People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.

Fact No. 8: Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.

Fact No. 9: Americans have much better access to important new technologies like medical imaging than patients in Canada or the U.K.

Fact No. 10: Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

For entire article, studies that support the facts above and details, see:
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba649

zeezil said...

ObamaCare: Does It Cover 'Stupidity'?

Americans overwhelmingly like their health care and their health insurance. While Americans reject ObamaCare as shown in poll after poll, the President and Democrat Congress drove it through regardless. That's bacause it wasn't about 'health care'. It was all about power and control.

Most Americans, up to 85 percent, already have health insurance and are satisfied with it. Lacking health insurance is different from lacking health care -- which, by law, emergency rooms must supply. Millions go without health insurance by choice and not due to lack of resources. Deduct from the number without insurance those who have access to it via entitlement programs, those temporarily without it while between jobs, those here illegally and those who could go on their parents' insurance plans by paying affordable amounts -- and you're down to 10 million to 15 million people without health insurance for longer than a year. This represents 5 percent of Americans. Furthermore, allmost no one is denied insurance. You can get insurance but you may feel the cost is one you cannot afford or are willing to pay. So don't go around saying that tens of millions of people are denied insurance.

So, ask yourself...why are we allowing Obama and the Democrats to blow up and essentially destroy the best and most innovative healtch care system in the world and turn it over to government control?

OBAMACARE - DOES IT COVER STUPIDITY?