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Archive for Sunday, June 28, 2009

Panel urges action on health care

June 28, 2009

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Lee Ketzel, longtime Lawrence resident and League of Women Voters member, is frustrated with the current health care system.

“Most of us want universal coverage and we’re fed up that we are the only (industrialized) country that doesn’t offer anything close to that,” she said. “How close is Congress to passing that?”

Ketzel’s question was launched at a three-person panel Saturday during the League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County’s forum on health care.

With the debate over health care reform front and center in Congress, now is the time to speak out, according to Michael Fox, a panel member and Kansas University professor of health policy management.

“At this point, given that now everything is up for negotiation, (lawmakers) have to be reminded of that from real live consumers — it is important that everyone receives some kind of coverage, regardless,” Fox said.

With health care reform proposals in front of Congress, the local League of Women Voters group is taking a look at how best to advocate for change.

On Saturday, Janis McMillen on the national board of the League of Women Voters discussed the organization’s stand.

At one time the national organization did support members lobbying at the state level for a single-payer system, which would have one entity administer health care insurance and provide coverage for everyone.

But it has since taken away that support.

“We feel if we get so strongly focused on a single-payer system as something we want now, we will be marginalized in the final discussions,” McMillen said. “We would rather have a place at the table now.”

Advocating for a single-payer system was David Burress, president of Ad Astra Institute of Kansas, a progressive think tank.

Fox also spoke in favor of the system but doubted its feasibility.

“It is logical, it is easy to understand, it is the cheapest … but folks, I am here to tell you it ain’t going to happen,” Fox said. “And part of it is because of political mistakes.”

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Although the national political season has seen few mentions of national health insurance, that is exactly what a majority of Americans say they want. Here are the figures:

  • In a CNN News poll, 55 percent preferred a system “administered by the government and paid for by taxpayers” — just 29 wanted to hold on to the current private insurance system that leaves some without coverage.
  • When asked: “Do you think the government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if this would require higher taxes?” 64 percent said yes.
  • And Americans are impatient for change; 17 percent of those polled by Gallup at the end of 2007 said the rising cost of health care is a crisis; another 56 percent called it a “major problem.” Listen up, candidates. That's a total of 73 percent.

Support for national health insurance is not coming just from the progressives who all along have supported Representative John Conyers' single-payer health care bill. (Single-payer means the government provides the insurance, but health care services remain as they are — combinations of private, public, and non-profit.)

Support is also coming from people across the political spectrum and the country. In her upcoming piece in YES! magazine, Daina Saib talks to physicians like Dr. Rocky White, who tell her: “Any time a state has studied it, they find that single-payer is the most cost-effective and covers everyone.” Dr. White is a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, but he is also pressing for action in his state of Colorado, hoping that when the states lead the way, national policy will follow as it did in Canada.

Daina also talks to entrepreneur, Jack Lohman, a lifelong Republican and co-founder of Business Owners for Single Payer, who tells her: “For the same 16 percent of GDP that we are spending on health care in the U.S., we could provide first-class health care to 100 percent of the people.” And a single-payer system would “get health care off the backs of corporations so they can be more competitive with products made overseas.”

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Info Supporting Prudent Health Insurance HR 676

Current White Collar Crime: Medicare Fraud Indictments http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401906.html

Senate Report Finds Insurers Wrongfully Charged Consumers Billions http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

It is wrong that HR 676 is not on the table. http://www.healthcare-now.org/campaigns/win-win/

Lots of people go out of business due to mismanagement why not the medical insurance business? People would not be left without medical insurance. Perhaps shareholders should consider dumping these stocks before its' too late due to the ultra strong citizen force for reform which will shake up the current situation substantially.

$1.2 trillion tax dollars are paid out to cover a variety of government employees yet that same amount will cover all in the USA under HR 676. Why isn't HR 676 the main focus?

ALL city,state and federal government officials should be on HR 676 due to the huge cost savings to the taxpayers Wouldn’t that be a prudent move and be looked upon as fiscally conservative. School districts should also get behind behind this fiscally respnsible HR 676 coverage.

Why not use those tax dollars more prudently?

The majority of our elected officials are out of touch and cannot possibly understand. Is that because taxpayers pay for our own plus their insurance? Yet they will not pay for our coverage which is to say there is something wrong with this picture. Special Interests and Lack of Disclosure: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

Bankruptcy http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bankruptcy_study.html#ixzz0IQKZLHHh&C

Health care costs and facts: Paying More, Getting Less How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you?

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

KS 5 years, 5 months ago

Let me say just one thing. This person DOES NOT want universal care run by the government. Who in their right mind thinks the government can run it better than it is now? How do you like completing a Form 1040 or waiting in line at the DMV? We all think the wars are run wrong, why do we think the government will do better on health care? As an employer, if I am told that I will have to pay for my employees healthcare, I can only say one thing, good bye! I will close the business for good. If my employees don't like it, they can go see BHO. He will take care of them, I am tired of it. If you all are betting on a poll from CNN, you really do have problems. They are now part of the state run media.

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

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GardenMomma 5 years, 5 months ago

hahahaha Nota, I used to read Merrill's posts, but now I just can't anymore. They are too long, often longer than the article itself.

Merrill, I tend to agree with you most times, that is when you aren't cutting and pasting. I understand you are trying to make your point, but c'mon, your posts have been very long-winded lately.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 5 months ago

Christine Metz unwisely chooses to use the term "progessive" in her description of the Ad Astra Institute. "Progessive" is nothing but a rebranding of the term "liberal." "Liberal" has grown so unpopular that the Far Left simply had to come up with a more catchy term to describe their liberal ideas. And, voila, we find ourselves wtih "progressive." What a joke.

Ms. Metz, please don't allow yourself to become a dupe of these special interest groups.

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

jmadison;

Aw, come on - at least they had coverage, didn't they?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Why HR676 National Health Insurance? / http://www.healthcare-now.org/campaigns/win-win/ • We’ll all receive identical health insurance coverage • Provides extraordinary leverage against suppliers • Protects families and business alike from being gouged by the health insurance industry • Treatment for serious illness such as cancer will not be cut off because a patient has reached the point insurance companies will pay no more…happens everyday • 60% of health insurance today is paid with tax dollars ($1.2 Trillion) so why not 100% that covers all who need treatment. • Citizens will not be forced to lose all of their assets or file bankruptcy due to serious illness as does happen somewhere everyday as we speak • Eliminates health insurance dollars going into special interest campaign cookie jars • Eliminates health insurance dollars from financing golden parachutes • Veterans receive care immediately for whatever symptoms war has imposed on their physical or mental health. No more waiting on the Dept. of Defense

• National Health Insurance eliminates over 1500 different policies thus eliminating tons of wasteful administrative costs. That money could be included towards 100% coverage. It is estimated todays administrative costs runs at 33%…that is a lot of dough.

• $1.2 trillion tax dollars are paid out to cover a variety of government employees yet that same amount will cover all in the USA under HR 676. Why isn't HR 676 the main focus? ,ALL government officials should be on HR 676 due to the huge cost savings to the taxpayers Wouldn’t that be a prudent

lctchr1 5 years, 5 months ago

People need to start taking responsibility for their health. If you are obese, smoke, etc., get ready to start paying more in healthcare. It is coming! If you take care of yourself, watch your diet, etc., your healthcare costs should be lower. Unfortunately, this doesn't take into consideration accidents and unpreventable genetic diseases that may pop up. I, as a taxpayer, would willingly shoulder these accidents and genetic disorders over those that CHOOSE to be unhealthy. It truly is ridiculous. Our government should be focusing on the quality of our food supply. We are, as a nation, intentionally making ourselves sick. Unbelievable. But, keep up the partisan talk. This is how to get things done. What a joke.

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

merrill (Automoton) says…

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scottgreene 5 years, 5 months ago

The product of health insurance is to provide you with medical coverage when you need it. Unlike other businesses that need to provide you with their product in order to make any money, health insurance companies actually make more money for themselves when they restrict and do not pay claims. In other words, they make more money when they do NOT provide the product that you have paid them for.

Read the 50 to 70 pages of your health insurance contract. Pay particular attention to the section entitled “limitations and exclusions”. People’s health is not a product that needs to be left to the whims of money motivated CEO’s and stockholders. If that is your thinking, you might as well have your police and fire department protection based on insurance premiums you pay. Then you can go to the police and fire protection insurance page for ‘limitations and exclusions’ on whether or not the police or fire department would come out to your house in the event of an emergency.

The point is, you would never think of discriminating against another citizen if he was the victim of a fire or crime. So why would you be ok with health insurance companies discriminating against fellow citizens who have pre-existing medical conditions?

lctchr1 5 years, 5 months ago

scottgreene, you are right. The fact that health insurance companies hire a huge staff of attorneys to try to avoid paying claims is ridiculous. I don't know how they can sleep at night. Still, I seriously doubt the system ever gets changed in a meaningful way. People need to take some personal responsibility and get healthy.

overthemoon 5 years, 5 months ago

My health insurance company regularly decides what my doctors can or cannot do--or in the fear mongering parlance, they come between my doctor and me. The basis for their decisions, no matter how they put it in terms of 'approved practice', is entirely determined by their profit margin. They do not pay, in spite of lip service and cute touchy feely ads, for wellness or preventive health. In fact, they do not pay for anything because my employer can not afford the premium coverage I have enjoyed in years past. I have spotty coverage and a $1000 deductible. So basically, I'm giving them $9600 a year for NO covered claims. On top of that, my premiums pay for uninsured people to use the emergency room for primary care. I would much prefer to pay for a universal/single payer where I know that my premiums will afford me care without lining the pockets of health insurance execs. We have screamed about the inequity of wall street, why do we accept the Health Insurance/Pharmaceutical monopolies???

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Those who think that only private insurers make treatment decisions for the provider based on dollars and cents have obviously never dealt with government-administered healthcare. It may not be for profits - it's because they only have so many dollars to pay out, based on what the legislature approved up to a year ago.

An acquaintance of mine recently had claims denied for one of his children on Medicaid because it took the state over 6 weeks to process their renewal. And that was before the state cut the budget for the administration of healthcare benefits, which a recent LJW story said will cause further delays affecting thousands.

Or for even stupider reasons. I had a reviewer from one of our state-funded programs contact me by phone a few weeks ago to tell me he was denying a request for services for a patient because he (the reviewer) had not been able to contact me by e-mail. Yes, that's right - he called me to tell me the request was denied because he couldn't contact me.

Yep, let's put them in charge of everyone's healthcare.

Then again, no thanks.

lctchr1 5 years, 5 months ago

beobatcher,

Please reread my post. I specifically point out that genetic disease and accidents are the exception. Read the whole post!

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

Recently a critically-ill premature baby was sent from Canada to a hospital in Buffalo, NY for treatment because there was not a single available ICU neo-nate bed in all of Canada. If the US system rationed health care in a similar manner, where would we send patients?

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