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Archive for Sunday, November 1, 2009

GOP leader outlines health care alternative

November 1, 2009

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— Republicans have the answers to lower health costs and expanded coverage, not the Democrats who hold power in Washington and are creating more problems as they “recklessly pursue” a government takeover of the health care system, a GOP leader said.

The top House Republican, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, outlined his party’s alternative in the GOP’s weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. Democratic proposals are gaining momentum in Congress and Republicans are scrambling for support to try to block them.

Taking aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan, Boehner said it would put Washington in charge of health care decisions, add to the bureaucracy, raise premiums and cut Medicare benefits.

“Enough is enough. Breaking the bank and taking away the freedoms Americans cherish is not the answer to the challenges we face,” Boehner said. “Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill will raise the cost of Americans’ health insurance premiums; it will kill jobs with tax hikes and new mandates; and it will cut seniors’ Medicare benefits.”

Debate could begin this coming week on legislation developed by House Democrats that extends coverage to 96 percent of Americans, imposes new requirements on individuals and employers to get insurance and provides subsidies for lower-income people. The bill rolled out Thursday includes a new public insurance plan that would pay providers and hospitals at rates negotiated by the health and human services secretary.

The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to begin debate within two weeks on a bill crafted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Boehner said there is a choice to be made: “We can come together to implement smart, fiscally responsible reforms to improve Americans’ health care or we can recklessly pursue this government takeover that creates far more problems than it solves.”

Boehner said a number of steps could be taken, such as letting people buy health insurance across state lines, allowing people and organizations to pool together to buy insurance for lower prices and reining in malpractice lawsuits.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, outlined his party’s alternative in the GOP’s weekly radio and Internet address Saturday."

Well, what are the details, and why aren't they included in this article?

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Meanwhile:

"The latest look at the public option comes from the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan economic analysts for lawmakers.

It found that the scaled back government plan in the House bill wouldn’t overtake private health insurance. To the contrary, it might help the insurers a little.

The budget office estimated that about 6 million people would sign up for the public option in 2019, when the House bill is fully phased in. That represents about 2 percent of a total of 282 million Americans under age 65. " http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hotstories/6696396.html

"...it might help the insurers a little."

Uh oh, the bozo/merrills would not like that.

staff04 5 years, 1 month ago

"We can come together to implement smart, fiscally responsible reforms"

Sorry John, the time to do that was in June and July, while your party was busy peddling lies about death panels and the legislated fate of private insurance plans.

monkeyhawk, you've supported the claims by reform supporters that Republicans are out of their minds.

Paraphrasing Barney Frank: to claim on one hand that the government option is a terrible idea because government can't do anything right or efficiently while on the other hand claiming that a government option will be so wildly successful as to put private insurers out of business, is quite simply absurd...and the voting public sees right through it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Gee, monkeyhawk, do you think that outcome is just a coincidence? Or could it have something to do with the HMO/insurance/Big Pharma cartel bribing everyone in sight?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

What was not mentioned was the 25% increase in the cost of health insurance scheduled for 2010. A number I've seen is $18,310. 2009-2010 costs were running at $13,000-$14,000 which is still too much money.

WE tax payers do not have a choice. Our legislators just send us THEIR bills. At 18,310 for 2010 that comes to about $10,986,000 just for legislators in the house and senate. Face it folks $11 million is a lot of money for a selected few. Then there is the president,vice pres,cabinet members and staff people. That dollar amount becomes frightening and extraordinary.

How many employers are willing to fork out that kind of money for employees? Get real. That is one reason why the USA has so many under insured which are the ones who file bankruptcy so often. Yes the working insured are the ones filing aka going broke.

Face it folks $11 million is a lot of money for a selected few. So under HR 676 National Health Insurance that number could be reduced to $1,800,000 or a savings of about $9 million. HR 676 reduces the cost to about $3,000 - 3500 a year.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

"HMO/insurance/Big Pharma cartel bribing everyone in sight?"

It's your heroes making the secret deals.

Ms. elite staffer - do you ever have a coherent thought, or is always pit bull mode for you? As far as "supporting claims", that is straight from the CBO, reported by AP.

BTW, if you are implying that I'm a Republican - you would be very wrong. Never have been, never will be.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Healthcare is NOT broken. We have the best system in the world. “If it aint broke, don't fix it”!!"

Just repeat that three times, and don't forget to click your heels.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"It's your heroes making the secret deals."

Now there's there's nice, well-formed and substantial argument from Mr. Non-Partisan.

scott3460 5 years, 1 month ago

Boehner said a number of steps could be taken, such as... allowing people and organizations to pool together to buy insurance for lower prices...."

Is this not the public option concept? When did the Boner turn in to a socialist?

staff04 5 years, 1 month ago

Go figure, monkeyhawk didn't get it. Maybe not insane, but definitely inane.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

The nations consumers could have excellent National Health insurance for all if one would remove: elected officials as shareholders special interest campaign funding the insurance industry recklessly spending health care dollars to bribe votes the news media offering misinformation ( their large advertising revenue is at stake)

Remember it is the most expensive medical insurance in the world that denies care and/or cancels coverage after taking ones money for years and years. National Health Insurance for All would not allow such arrogance.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

National Health Insurance ends deductibles and co-payments and would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

National Health Insurance for All (HR 676) http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Doctors for Single Payer(HR 676) http://www.pnhp.org/

Unions for HR 676 http://unionsforsinglepayerhr676.org/union_endorsers

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676 http://www.pnhp.org/action/organizations_and_government_bodies_endorsing_hr_676.php

Health Care In the USA http://www.dollarsandsense.org/healthcare.html

Consumer Reports On Health Care http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/health_reform/

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Ok, boz, here you go... my inference to "your guys" was to anyone who supports government run health care, especially single payer. (notice the source)

The deal, as outlined in the memo:

"Commitment of up to $80 billion, but not more than $80 billion.

  1. Agree to increase of Medicaid rebate from 15.1 - 23.1% ($34 billion)

  2. Agree to get FOBs done (but no agreement on details -- express disagreement on data exclusivity which both sides say does not affect the score of the legislation.) ($9 billion)

  3. Sell drugs to patients in the donut hole at 50% discount ($25 billion) This totals $68 billion

  4. Companies will be assessed a tax or fee that will score at $12 billion. There was no agreement as to how or on what this tax/fee will be based.

Total: $80 billion

In exchange for these items, the White House agreed to:

  1. Oppose importation

  2. Oppose rebates in Medicare Part D

  3. Oppose repeal of non-interference

  4. Oppose opening Medicare Part B"

"Obama is walking a tightrope here. He wants to keep PhRMA from opposing the bill, and benefits by having its support, which now includes a $150 million advertising campaign. That's a fortune in politics -- more than Republican presidential candidate John McCain spent on advertising during his entire campaign -- but it's loose change in the pharmaceutical business.

Opponents of the deal with PhRMA hope that Obama is playing a multilayered game, making a deal in order to keep the drug makers in his camp for now, but planning to double-cross them in the end if he needs to in order to pass his signature initiative."

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/13/internal-memo-confirms-bi_n_258285.html

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

All legislators protecting the most expensive medical insurance in the world are INCREASING YOUR COST of living.

Why pay the most expensive medical insurance industry in the world anything?

Never never never forget… It is the private medical insurance industry that cancels YOUR medical insurance AFTER taking YOUR MONEY for years. Years and hundreds of thousands dollars later no one has any guarantee of any coverage.

Not only that if an employer makes a switch there is no guarantee any coverage or same coverage will be available.

Face it what wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too many healthy citizens pay out to insurance companies in a 12 month period they would never spend that much in 12 months no way jose'... with very very few exceptions. So why are we giving a middle man so much money? What's the point?

Paying out all that money is no guarantee the most expensive insurance industry will stick with you when the bills come rolling in.

Think about it. It's so many many many working people WITH insurance that are being forced into bankruptcy. Why pay an insurance company anything?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

We're talking about fiscally prudent health insurance not government health care.

If a person desires government run health care then one must become a member of the armed forces.... not quite the same. Health care will remain private as always. No one is asking to change that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"my inference to “your guys” was to anyone who supports government run health care, especially single payer."

Umm, those congress members who support single-payer have had nearly zero influence on the bill(s) that will likely come out of either the Senate or the House. And not surprisingly, they have received little or nothing in the way of campaign contributions (bribes) from Big Health.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

If 3 million healthy insured dropped their policies in the next two weeks not only would they save thousands of dollars, the insurance industry would faint in disbelief that this many people actually are awake and give a damn.

Then they could afford to pay out of pocket.

Yes would have more money to spend their way such as helping a less fortunate family,fixing a car,buying a bicycle or having adequate funds for groceries.

Sooner or later another few million would do the same.

Suddenly all of america would realize the medical insurance business has been doing nothing but making tons and tons of profit: to waste buying legislators to spend paying a huge staff to say NO to legitimate health care needs to spend supporting a complicated system that which keeps consumers confused to spend supporting a complicated system that gets away with over charging its' customers

At that point all would see that america could have insurance at a much much lower rate such as 225 a month for the best coverage in the world that includes the entire family.

Makes dollars and sense to me. More money to invest smart instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

Maybe get on with that home improvement with cash instead of borrowing from the bank.....just maybe.

Maybe go to Jamaica for a few weeks instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

bozo, the motivation behind this health care/health insurance reform is ultimately to achieve single-payer. You know that, as I think you have endorsed it yourself. The quickest way to accomplish that is to open the door in some fashion for the government to gain a foothold. Mr. Obama himself has stated that, and I think those in congress who like single-payer recognize that as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"bozo, the motivation behind this health care/health insurance reform is ultimately to achieve single-payer. "

Really? So that means that the Republican proposal to reform health care/health insurance is Marxist to the core? Does that mean the $millions in bribes from Big Health to "moderate" Democrats from conservative districts don't the a Republican Red hue, but rather one that's a deep Commie Red?

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Any proposal the Republicans come up with is moot. They are just pretending in order to get along. Not one Republican vote is necessary to pass anything.

puddleglum 5 years, 1 month ago

hey tom, remember who put us in the worst debt situation ever. your boy W!

you have tried for 8 years, but like grampa always used to say: "ya can't polish a turd."

meanwhile, back at the ranch:
the republicans have the answer- "letting people buy health insurance across state lines, allowing people and organizations to pool together to buy insurance for lower prices and reining in malpractice lawsuits." this sounds like pro-big business to me. Let me inform you on exactly what would happen to the insurance companies, and you & me. 1. state line give-a-way. The largest companies would stamp out all of the local insurers and completely solidify the elimination of any new insurance companies. how? would they just undercut everybody's prices like wal-mart? probably by about $10 less a month. Then they would hide behind Arizona state law, which basically lets them get away with not honoring their product. You've heard it before, the claims denial departments. the people who look at every single claim and try to find a way that they don't have to pay for it. wow. big savings? maybe for the insurance companies. 2. Pooled insurance. this looks feels and smells just like a dog-stick floating in a pool, alright. How's it work? you me and all our friends get together and we decide on a linear coverage (kinda like socialism) and we supposedly get a 'group discount' for bringing in a group sale for the insurance company. the savings? you guessed it. maybe $10 per month. the costs? now all the claim denial department has to do is find just one person that lied about smoking or how many alchoholic beverages they drink per week-and everyone else will have to pay the penalty, followed by previous claim denials-based on your fraudulent fiscal situation. good for who? good for big business, really not good for anybody else at all. 3. Reining in malpractice lawsuits. this is republicanese for eliminating your day in court. That is all that it is. The insurance industry has made the courts their alamo for years. Just deny all claims that are expensive and make 'em take us to court. which side do you think will be lawyered to death? well, once punitive sentencing started showing up in the early 90's, the tables were turned. Judges saw this business for what it is (legalized crime) and every time the insurance company fails to settle-they end up with the punitive damage, then carry on to sue the hospital, doctor, drug company, janitor, ambulance driver, and whoever else they can possibly spread blame (fallout-dollars) to. eliminate our own justice system? THAT sounds like communism. so how does any of this lower health costs? it doesn't. It just gives the guise of lower prices to you and me, while really helping out Big business (as usual). Republicans need to get off their A@@ and put something together that actually addresses the problems. please.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Not one Republican vote is necessary to pass anything."

Maybe, maybe not. But with blue dog democrats and Sen. Lieberman flush with Big Health bribes, who needs Republicans?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Here's the deal. National Health Insurance is not a free ride and never will be perhaps with few exceptions.

You see my tax dollars will pay for my portion therefore no one else would be paying for MY National Health Insurance coverage. Absolutely I am okay with this concept.

However if you listen to the republican party NOT and Max Baucus you would be led to believe that my tax dollars are not my tax dollars. How can that be?

The fact that National Health Insurance would come from the rather substantial tax dollar cookie jars simply means that no monthly or weekly deductions would come out of my pay check per se..

Since federal, state, and local governments collect trillions in taxes of all kinds—income, sales, property, corporate etc etc this is how medical bills would be paid as it is now.

You see as we speak the government tax dollars support medical insurance payments to the tune of at least $1.2 trillion which is quite a gravy train I'd say. Next year this will increase by changing nothing and not passing the National Health Insurance Act.

In essence MY tax dollar amount to pay MY portion of National Health Insurance would be about $2700 annually for the entire family.

What coverage would this buy the family:

long term care such that cancer demands prescription drugs hospital surgical outpatient services primary and preventive care emergency services dental mental health home health physical therapy rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) vision care hearing services including hearing aids chiropractic durable medical equipment * palliative care

A good deal that would free up more expendable cash to be spent elsewhere thus creating new jobs. Things like birthdays,christmas,home improvements,taking better care of my lover and investments would benefit.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

"Dr. David Himmelstein, the lead author of the study and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard commented: "Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy. Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick."

Today's health insurance policies -- with high deductibles, co-pays, and many exclusions -- offer little protection during a serious illness. Uncovered medical bills averaged $13,460 for those with private insurance at the start of their illness. People with cancer had average medical debts of $35,878.

"The paradox is that the costliest health system in the world performs so poorly. We waste one-third of every health care dollar on insurance bureaucracy and profits while two million people go bankrupt annually and we leave 45 million uninsured" said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program.

"With national health insurance ('Medicare for All'), we could provide comprehensive, lifelong coverage to all Americans for the same amount we are spending now and end the cruelty of ruining families financially when they get sick."

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

tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

“With national health insurance ('Medicare for All'), we could provide comprehensive, lifelong coverage to all Americans for the same amount we are spending now and end the cruelty of ruining families financially when they get sick.”

But then those CEOs would lose their trophy wives, and they could only get one nanny for all their kids. They might have to take care of their own kids, cook their own meals, and, horrors, drive their own car and take commercial flights.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"The difference between you and me is that I don't make an exception for the former."

Huh? It would appear that the difference is that you don't follow the money.

jaywalker 5 years, 1 month ago

"Umm, those congress members who support single-payer have had nearly zero influence on the bill(s) that will likely come out of either the Senate or the House."

Re-he-he-eally?! So 1900 plus pages of legislation was written by whom? Neutral third parties? Brilliant as ever, bozo.

"It would appear that the difference is that you don't follow the money."

No. The difference is that you, bozo, will only follow the money so far as it furthers your argument. Pretending that it's only Republicans, blue dogs, and Lieberman who've been involved with and/or taken money from different health syndicates is transparent and not just a little disengenuous. Well done you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Pretending that it's only Republicans, blue dogs, and Lieberman who've been involved with and/or taken money from different health syndicates is transparent and not just a little disengenuous."

If you believe I'm pretending, that implies that you think I have evidence that congress members you don't bother to identify must be on the take.

I'll just take your attempts to assert that I know something about these unidentified congress members as your crude and clumsy way of claiming to have some info you would like to share with the rest of us.

So, are you putting up, or shutting up?

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 1 month ago

Bozo, maybe you should read the news.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072003363.html

max baucus is number 1 on that list.

both parties are taking massive amounts of money from various third parties.

jaywalker 5 years, 1 month ago

Aaah, bozo with his head in the sand, as ever. Nice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

I guess you're just a third-way kinda guy, jaywalker-- neither putting nor shutting up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"both parties are taking massive amounts of money from various third parties."

Yes, I'm well aware of that. Baucus is a complete sellout to Big Health.

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 1 month ago

bozo, Did you not read the Washington Post article I posted? The democrats, including many most liberal members, recieve just as much campaign contributions from insurance and pharm industry as the Republicans. The information is readily available . . . just look it up. Both parties are in the tank for special interests and doctors + patients will be afterthoughts in any reform effort.

I can appreciate a team player, but your denial of facts is sad.

jaywalker 5 years, 1 month ago

" that implies that you think I have evidence that congress members you don't bother to identify must be on the take."

"And not surprisingly, they have received little or nothing in the way of campaign contributions (bribes) from Big Health"

"Yes, I'm well aware of that. Baucus is a complete sellout to Big Health."

No real need to put up or shut up when you contradict yourself so eloquently. And neuhofel's link seemed sufficient when I returned to the thread, I'm oh so sorry if that wasn't enough evidence of your willful ignorance. Would you like to change your story again? Perhaps assert that Baucus is the sole Democrat, other than blue dogs of course, that's taken money from the health industry? Can you be that naive/myopic/ridiculous? C'mon clown, you can do it, I got money on ya. Stick your head back in the sand, bozo. You've never looked better.

tbaker 5 years, 1 month ago

Who on this blog thinks the government should not help people who simply cannot find a way to get themselves or their family members health care? Anyone?

Who on this blog thinks the government shouldn't be doing something to help lower the cost of health care for everyone who already has it? Anyone?

The issue is HOW our government does this. They can use a people-centered approach where individuals are empowered to make their own decisions, or they can chose a government-ran approach to solving these problems.

For a good preview of a government-centered approach, take some time and see how the government-operated Swine Flu vaccination program has been working.

For some people-centered ideas, take a look at this.

http://healthcare.cato.org/free-market-approach-health-care-reform

jaywalker 5 years, 1 month ago

" claiming that a government option will be so wildly successful as to put private insurers out of business"

Rarely a good idea to quote Buddy Hackett's long, lost brother, staff.
The above is an obfuscation. People against the 'government option' aren't afraid it will be "so wildly successful" and eliminate private insurers; they're afraid that a government option is the first step toward a systematic elimination of private insurers as policy, not product.

tbaker 5 years, 1 month ago

Rooster - I agree with you. Our constitution says our federal government can't "provide" things for individual people. Unfortunately, the sad reality is constitutional restraints in the form of the enumerated powers have been rendered meaningless. Until the true meaning of the "general welfare" clause is reestablished, congress will tax and spend without constraint.

In the era of the unconstrained congress, one must approach this trying to get the federal government to do things that do not add to our horrible debt any further. What you said is entirely true, but it just isn't realistic right now. The best we can hope for is congress doing things that are free, and are designed to help empower a person's ability to care for themselves. Whether or not what they do is constitutional has been reduced to last on the priority list because since Butler v. US in 1936, congress has been completely free to do what ever it wants.

Kryptenx 5 years, 1 month ago

This is news? At least the bigfoot hoax had pictures to accompany it. How many times have we heard someone "has the solution to health care reform?" (I've lost count). How many times have we heard details? 0.

Where's the plan?

tbaker 5 years, 1 month ago

Kryptenx - Here is the alternative legislation (Wheres the plan?). Each of these six bills have been introduced, and summarily defeated in committee. Don't say the Republicans haven't offered a "plan." They have. Here's the picture of bigfoot you asked for:

http://help.senate.gov/BAI09A84_xml.pdf

If I was a liberal, instead of juvenile partisan bickering about easily provable points, such as "wheres the plan?" I'd be asking Republicans this question: Why now? Where was all this concern about health care when you were in control of congress? Where were these six pieces of legislation then? Would you have introduced these if you thought there was a good chance they wouldn't be defeated by the democrats? Did you actually depend on the democrats defeating these because deep down you know they would really upset some of your special interests and the only reason you introduced them was to give you some political cover with your constituents by being able to say "I tried..."

While you're thinking about that Kryptenx, ponder as well why the current legislation has no provision for tort reform - because as the health insurance companies are to the republicans, the trial lawyers are to the democrats.

Congress doesn't give a hoot about me and you! They'd much rather create another massive entitlement program our country can't afford, soak us for more taxes we can't afford, and pass something they can call health care reform that will likely make things even worse - BEFORE they would ever do anything meaningful, because meaningful reforms would get into the pockets of the special interest groups.

The average Senate campaign last election cycle cost $5 million. Those campaigns don't pay for themselves. Vote against every incumbent.

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