Archive for Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Republicans introduce amendment to exempt Kansans from federal mandate to have health insurance

February 2, 2010

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— A group of Republican lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a proposed constitutional amendment that members said was aimed at blocking any federal requirement that Kansans buy health insurance.

The Republicans said the measure was needed because of the prospect of Democratic health reform passing in Congress and requiring health insurance coverage.

“We can provide health-care reform in our state without forcing citizens to take certain actions, and we can provide good health care in Kansas without putting citizens at risk of being sent to jail,” said state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee.

The “Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment” is patterned after a proposal by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state legislators. ALEC reports that 35 states have introduced or plan to introduce similar measures.

In a news release, ALEC stated that state constitutions may protect individual liberties to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution. “This is the foundation of the effort in Kansas and elsewhere — that health care choice is a civil liberties issue,” said Christi Herrera, director of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force, which is coordinating the nationwide effort.

The Kansas GOP group pushing for the amendment included about 15 state legislators and three U.S. House members, Jerry Moran, Todd Tiahrt, and Lynn Jenkins. The amendment was introduced by Pilcher-Cook and state Reps. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and Peggy Mast, R-Emporia.

After a news conference held in the House chamber, Glenda Overstreet, first vice president of the Kansas chapter of the NAACP, said the proposed amendment was “disingenuous.”

Without federal health care reform, insurers will continue to be able to drop coverage for pre-existing conditions and 300,000 Kansans already without insurance will have no opportunity to get coverage, she said.

“There shouldn’t be an individual in the United States that doesn’t have health care,” she said.

The proposal will be considered during a hearing on Tuesday. If approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate, it would be put on the November ballot for Kansas voters to decide.

Comments

overthemoon 5 years, 6 months ago

So Ms Pilcher-Cook will also repeal the requirement for all Kansans to have auto insurance or risk penalty? And what, exactly, is her plan to provide all Kansans with affordable, fair, basic health care and health care reform? Let me guess, tort reform and cuttin' those pesky taxes?

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Gee, moonie, why don't you take a whack at explaining how the Democrats' plan is going "o provide all Kansans with affordable, fair, basic health care and health care reform?" Oh, wait - it doesn't!

Thank you, Kansas legislature, for doing the right thing and standing up for the people who sent you to Topeka to represent them.

(BTW, moonie, there's a fundamental difference between mandatory car insurance and mandatory health insurance - care to try figuring it out, or do you need me to tell you?)

straightforward 5 years, 6 months ago

Why do you suggest the government is responsible for providing Kansans with health care?

frank mcguinness 5 years, 6 months ago

"Why do you suggest the government is responsible for providing Kansans with health care?"

I'll tell you why so you're deft enought not to see this for yourself. The fact of the matter is that people become sick or injured in the course of their life. When this happens if the person is uninsured then the cost for treating the uninsured person is passed along to the rest of our society. Furthermore as a compassionate society (and I'm not religious but) we need to remember that "we will be judged by how we treat the least among us"

frank mcguinness 5 years, 6 months ago

I do find it hypocritical that these same legislative members who oppose health care reform utilize state funded health care. Each and every one of them!

KS 5 years, 6 months ago

About time! They should stand up to the Feds on other issues too. Auto insurance at the state level and health insurance at the federal level are two different things.

anon1958 5 years, 6 months ago

“We can provide health-care reform in our state without forcing citizens to take certain actions, and we can provide good health care in Kansas without putting citizens at risk of being sent to jail,” said state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee.

Fascinating but contemtable BS by Republicans. Pilcher-Cook is too ignorant to realize that by making this statement she begets the question why havent the Republicans done this for Kansans.

So many republicans, so few brains, its a miracle they all have autonomous nervous systems that are clever enough to keep them breathing while they are asleep.

BrianR 5 years, 6 months ago

The Republicans taketh away. Situation normal.

workinghard 5 years, 6 months ago

Because of an erroneous doctor record, and a mistake by another doctor that caused my dad's kidney to temporarily stop functioning, he cannot get health insurance because he now has a pre existing condition. I have been having friends in Texas buy asthma medication in Mexico for my daughter for the last few years so when she is off of our insurance next year the asthma will not show up in her medical records. Not asking to have the government provide insurance, but stop letting the insurance companies deny coverage for pre existing conditions.

beatrice 5 years, 6 months ago

The Republicans are wimps. If they meant what they are saying, then why don't they go all out and pass a law banning federally funded Medicare / Medicaid while they are at it?

They don't do that because they are just a bunch of grandstanding posers, that is all. They would rather flap their arms and squak than try to get to the actual heart of the rising health-care costs that have ruined so many in our country.

Maybe the Kansas legislaters just need a "great white hope" to come save them all.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 6 months ago

beatrice:

I could not agree with you more.

Very well said.

These Republicans are just an embarrassment.

KS 5 years, 6 months ago

It's not the responsibility of either the state or federal governments to provide healthcare.

feeble 5 years, 6 months ago

Any bill that outlaws denial of claims or insurance due to pre-existing conditions, but does not include a mandate, will drive costs of plans for individuals and small business through the roof.

overthemoon 5 years, 6 months ago

ks. no one is suggesting or proposing that the state or federal governments provide health care.

For those opposed to health care reform, here's a good read for you. Its worth your consideration.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/rnr/1574293261.html

Uhjh 5 years, 6 months ago

Tell me in detail just WTF will they do to provide this!!

situveux1 5 years, 6 months ago

Massachusetts has universal health care, and they voted for a Republican. So, what does that mean?

straightforward 5 years, 6 months ago

"we will be judged by how we treat the least among us"

So rather than you yourself treating the least among us with compassion, you pass tax dollars onto a government that is wasteful and ineffective to let them "solve" the problem. What is compassionate about that.

I think we do live in a compassionate society. The American people gave more of there own money to the Haitian relief effort than any other individual county, not including the aid our government sent. I agree that we should help the least among us Rooster and I do, but not because the federal government tells me to.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

rooster (Anonymous) says…

"I'll tell you why so you're deft enought not to see this for yourself. The fact of the matter is that people become sick or injured in the course of their life. When this happens if the person is uninsured then the cost for treating the uninsured person is passed along to the rest of our society."

I went to the doctor today. Stopped on the way home and picked up three prescriptions. No coat was passed along to the rest of society, I paid for it myself.


workinghard (Anonymous) says…

"I have been having friends in Texas buy asthma medication in Mexico for my daughter for the last few years so when she is off of our insurance next year the asthma will not show up in her medical records."

So you're teaching your daughter to commit insurance fraud?

Avery Pearson 5 years, 6 months ago

hell yes. I suport workinghard. Sometimes you gotta have drugs, and sometimes they have to come from mexico...

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says…

"They would rather flap their arms and squak than try to get to the actual heart of the rising health-care costs that have ruined so many in our country."

And what, exactly, bea, have the Dems done - or even proposed - "to the actual heart of the rising health-care costs" in this country?

Oh, that's right - nothing.

By the way, dearie, since you're so fond of repeating numbers over and over and over, how about these:

State Senate 30-10 State House 78-47 US Congressmen 3-1 (with a good chance of soon being 4-0) US Senators 2-0 Registered Voters 50%-27% And the governorship after the next election

Unlike the Democrats in the federal legislature, the Republicans that represent the people of Kansas are actually doing something that the people who elected them want. What a concept.

Jim Phillips 5 years, 6 months ago

I've looked and can't find it. Exactly where in the United Stated Constitution does it state I have a right to health care?

The Whiner Generation and its mantra of "Gimme, gimme, gimme because you owe me" has become quite annoying.

puddleglum 5 years, 6 months ago

so has the outgoing generation of old people who say: "i want my medicaid, but I don't support socialized medicine."

earth to fossil: you're on it already.

eliminate insurance companies and go with the single payer: if all of europe can do it, why can't we?

jimmyjms 5 years, 6 months ago

It's amazing, the attitude of "I got mine, **** the rest of you."

From the same party that pretends to own morality.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to take away that sweet government health insurance they get with their job.

We'd have health care reform in a week.

Nota, please justify for me the right of an insurance company to drop you for a pre-existing condition....in 39 states, insurers can drop you for virtually any reason, including getting pregnant.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/aug/18/pregnancy-pre-existing-condition/

There's no way to pretend that's fair.

I got a letter this week from Coventry, "informing" me that my rates will go up 18% effective next month. They went up 12% last year. Two companies control the market in Kansas: where is the republican "hand of the market" concern that we hear so much about?

Ralph Reed 5 years, 6 months ago

This is rambling, but it's late, so bear with me.


From the article. "“This is the foundation of the effort in Kansas and elsewhere — that health care choice is a civil liberties issue,” said Christi Herrera, director of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force, which is coordinating the nationwide effort."


Once again it appears the G(N)OP in KS doesn't have an original idea. They are instead following along like sheeple with the Tea Party Nation, a for-profit organization (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/01/15/2175393.aspx).


@rooster. You're spot on at 1928.


I find it interesting that the G(N)OP in KS has no alternative proposal for health care, just like the G(N)OP nationwide. Instead of saying NO, why not say NO and come up with a viable alternative? They have none, and probably don't want to propose anything as they'll lose their funding from big pharma and the BC&BSs.

@notajayhawk. I agree, the best state legislature money can buy is doing what those who voted for them wanted them to do. They don't, however, even take the time to listen to other viewpoints. Cut taxes, cut funding, more money in my pocket - but, hey, schools, police, fire departments, you make do. Reuse bandages, sharpen pencils down to nubbins, reuse paper.


It's not just health care, it's everything. Pretty soon KS will be a parochial state, and it will be run by corporations with legislators who answer to them, not the people.


Oh yes, one last thing. If the sheeple in the state legislature propose a state amendment against health care, I expect to see the following: No patient will be treated without either a cash deposit up front, or proof of health insurance; Any medical practitioner, hospital, EMT and so on can refuse care if the patient does not have the cash up front or current health insurance. This is without recourse on the part of the patient. (and so on) Any of the above may cease providing treatment for a patient at any time it's shown he/she does not have the funds or health insurance to pay for treatment. This includes stopping an ambulance, removing bandages and laying someone on the sidewalk because they can't pay.

That's where all this is headed.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Any law that requires an American to buy a product just because they are American and make a certain amount of money should be fought tooth and nail.

If obama can make you buy health insurance solely because you are American and make a certain amount of money, he can also make you buy a chevy silverado to bail out his car company.

Luckily, mr obamas corporate mandate is DOA.

Why you left-wingers defend this garbage bill mr obama is trying to get passed in the dead of night is beyond me. Its like you have become the mouthpieces of cigna and blue cross.

pace 5 years, 6 months ago

If the Kansas legislature succeeds in defeating access to reformed health care then quite simply I will move to a state that values working families over fat corporate vultures.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

jimmyjms (Anonymous) says…

"Nota, please justify for me the right of an insurance company to drop you for a pre-existing condition….in 39 states, insurers can drop you for virtually any reason, including getting pregnant."

An opinion piece from PolitiFact. Now, that's persuasive.

Um, jimmy? Maybe you should read a little more carefully. It does not say "an insurance company to drop you for a pre-existing condition", it says they don't have to write the policy in the first place. And why should they?

What would happen to your car insurance rates if nobody carried comprehensive (or 'collision') coverage until after they had an accident, and expected the insurance company to pay for the repairs? What would happen to your homeowner's insurance rates if nobody bought a policy until after they had a fire? Why should someone who never paid for health insurance be allowed to wait until they get pregnant or are diagnosed with a major illness be allowed to 'buy in' at that late date and expect others who have been paying their premiums all along to pay for it?

Do you understand the concept of insurance, jimmy? It doesn't matter whether it's health insurance, car insurance, homeowners' insurance. Health insurance isn't supposed to make you healthier any more than car insurance provides transportation or homeowners' insurance provides shelter. It's a financial arrangement, pure and simple. For a fee, the company agrees to assume the financial risk for losses you might incur due to an unexpected medical expense. You have a choice - you can assume the risk yourself, take your chances, and save the expense of insurance. Or you can pay them to assume the risk. But if you could get insurance to cover something after the fact, you have no risk. You can walk through life saving all that money on premiums and just get a policy when you need it (like when you get pregnant), and even drop it again afterward.

Please justify that for me, jimmy.

[continued]

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

[continued]

"I got a letter this week from Coventry, “informing” me that my rates will go up 18% effective next month. They went up 12% last year. Two companies control the market in Kansas: where is the republican “hand of the market” concern that we hear so much about?"

You don't have to pay it, do you? This is the same argument I hear from people that say gasoline isn't subject to free market forces - that people have no choice but to pay it. And yet, when gas purchases dropped off after gas went to $4/gal, the price went back down, didn't it?

I don't have insurance. I went to the doctor today, though. I actually looked around first at which options had better prices. I told the doctor up front I was paying out of pocket and wasn't going to be paying for a lot of bells and whistles. I got an examination, some treatment at the office, and prescriptions (all of which are low-cost generics). Total cost? About what I put in my gas tank every two weeks. Of course, if I did have insurance, why would I have bothered? Why NOT get that CAT scan, necessary or not? Why NOT get that latest, greatest wonder drug the pharmaceutical rep is pushing this week that's all over the TV commercials?

THAT is the hand of the market, jimmy. Having someone else foot the bills so you have no incentive to hold down costs is not.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

RalphReed (Ralph Reed) says…

"Once again it appears the G(N)OP in KS doesn't have an original idea. They are instead following along like sheeple with the Tea Party Nation, a for-profit organization (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archiv…)."

Once again it appears Ralph doesn't have an original idea. He is instead following along like sheeple with MSNBC (who also happens to be a for-profit organization).

"I agree, the best state legislature money can buy is doing what those who voted for them wanted them to do."

Remind me again, Ralph - which presidential candidate outspent his opponent about 5-to-1 in the last election? And I suppose that money all came from the pennies of schoolchildren and the sewing money from retired grandmothers?

"No patient will be treated without either a cash deposit up front, or proof of health insurance"

That already happens, across the state line at Truman Medical Center.

A public hospital.


pace (Anonymous) says…

"If the Kansas legislature succeeds in defeating access to reformed health care then quite simply I will move to a state that values working families over fat corporate vultures."

Bye now.

Jim Phillips 5 years, 6 months ago

"puddleglum (Anonymous) says…

so has the outgoing generation of old people who say: “i want my medicaid, but I don't support socialized medicine.”'

Just a side note for furure reference. Medicaid is for those who are not old enough for Medicare but cannot afford medical insurance. Medicaid is also funded by the individual states. Medicare is a federal entitlement program for the senior citizens.

For the record, I am on neither. Oh yeah, these are both shining examples of government run programs that worked oh so well over the years. I can see where you might think the government could successfully and efficiently run the entire health care system based on the success of these lucrative programs.

feeble 5 years, 6 months ago

Total cost? About what I put in my gas tank every two weeks.

The statement above is meaningless without context. The difference between filling up a Prius and a Ford F-150 is pretty large.

I'm a healthy guy within the target weight range for my age and no pre-existing conditions, with decent insurance.

I went to a doctor (10 minute visit) to see if maybe I was developing GERD (other family members have it, started to notice unusual heart burn when eating anything with tomatoes or garlic in it.) I paid 20 bucks out of pocket, 5 bucks for generic meds and saw that the doctor billed my insurer 200 bucks for a fairly minor consult.

The per capita income in Kansas is somewhere around $25,000. FTE males in Kansas have median earnings a round $45,000. A $225 doctors bill is a little bit under half of a Kansans weekly earnings and a quarter of earnings for the median FTE male employee in Kansas.

Sure, if all you are doing is dropping $200 bucks for a 15 minute office visit and a some generic prilosec every 6 months, retail health care can affordable.

Once you start throwing in real sickness, lab tests (not frivolous stuff, things like strep tests or blood work), dependent health care costs or, God forbid, trips to the ER, retail cost spiral out of control.

For example, and this is based off of info provided by the State of Minnesota in 2005, the retail cost of setting a broken arm (simple fracture) was $2500 in 2005. If you had diabetes, your annual visit would set you back $500. Monthly drug costs for medications were for the treatment of diabetes, syringes and home glucose monitoring supplies would set you back another $100/month.

Throw a wife, two kids and all their health care problems into the mix, and you could conceivably be paying out 5 - 10% of your gross income in basic health care costs per year.

We can take this further, let's say you get really sick or are involved in bad accident and spend two days in the ICU on mechanical ventilation. That would be $21,600 in 2005 dollars, nearly 50% of Johnny Kansas's gross earnings.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

feeble (Anonymous) says…

"I went to a doctor (10 minute visit) to see if maybe I was developing GERD (other family members have it, started to notice unusual heart burn when eating anything with tomatoes or garlic in it.) I paid 20 bucks out of pocket, 5 bucks for generic meds and saw that the doctor billed my insurer 200 bucks for a fairly minor consult."

My own doctor's visit was significantly more intensive today, and the visit itself came in at less than half that. Mostly because I didn't have insurance for them to bill.

"A $225 doctors bill is a little bit under half of a Kansans weekly earnings and a quarter of earnings for the median FTE male employee in Kansas. "

And that's a lot? Compared to which other normal expenses?

"If you had diabetes, your annual visit would set you back $500. Monthly drug costs for medications were for the treatment of diabetes, syringes and home glucose monitoring supplies would set you back another $100/month."

All of which is less than the cost of insurance premiums.

"Once you start throwing in real sickness, lab tests (not frivolous stuff, things like strep tests or blood work), dependent health care costs or, God forbid, trips to the ER, retail cost spiral out of control. "

And THAT is the problem, not how we pay for it. Whether we pay for it out of pocket, through premiums, or in taxes, we still pay for it,

and

it

costs

too

d*mned

much.

Having someone else pay for it doesn't solve the problem, it IS the problem. People, whether providers or consumers, have no incentive to make any attempt to hold down costs when someone else is paying.

leedavid 5 years, 6 months ago

pace (Anonymous) says…

If the Kansas legislature succeeds in defeating access to reformed health care then quite simply I will move to a state that values working families over fat corporate vultures.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Good luck with that, especially since 35 other states are doing the exact same thing as the Kansas legislature.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Define "least among us." Is it the lazy and irresponsible? Is it the cheap? Is it those that chose to come to this country illegally? Or is it just those that really can't provide for themselves? Since others are quoting the Bible, how about "If a man does not work, he shouldn't eat?" By the way. Glenda Overstreet is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and she is always disengenous.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 6 months ago

In other news: "RICHMOND -- Virginia's Democratic-controlled state Senate passed measures Monday that would make it illegal to require individuals to purchase health insurance, a direct challenge to the party's efforts in Washington to reform health care." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/01/AR2010020103674.html?hpid=topnews Does that make the Democrats a bunch of grandstanding posers, bea?

leedavid 5 years, 6 months ago

Gregsharp if you will check the other 35 states adopting the same type of legislation, you will find many are democratic. Seems there must be a number of democratic pigs out there. Are they the ones wearing the lipstick?

leedavid 5 years, 6 months ago

One big concern for health care has got to be where are the doctors, other medical professionals, and facilities to provide all of this health coverage? Where is the plan to streamline training or to fast track new medical personnel?

This is a huge issue and the left has no answer for it.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

leedavid (Anonymous) says…

"This is a huge issue and the left has no answer for it."

There are a lot of things that no one has an answer for. One I keep asking, that nobody has even tried to answer, is what happens when we make our healthcare dependent on tax dollars, then those tax dollars dry up in times of economic downturn (like this one)?

But that's not the way they're trying to do this. The Democrats want to pass something just so they can all pat themselves on the back and say they 'reformed' healthcare. And the kool-aid drinkers deserpately want to believe them, since they're already figuring out they backed the wrong horse.

Besides, after they're done congratulating each other, and they find out it didn't do any good, or even made things worse, they can always blame Bush.

Steve Bunch 5 years, 6 months ago

Many dim bulbs burning under the dome, but still no light. Morons.

Sharon Aikins 5 years, 6 months ago

I would just like to get some health insurance for less than $1,100/month with huge deductibles and copays through the state's high risk pool since no one else with insure me and my health issues aren't that great.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

redmoonrising (Anonymous) says…

"I would just like to get some health insurance for less than $1,100/month with huge deductibles and copays through the state's high risk pool since no one else with insure me and my health issues aren't that great."

I would like a pony for my birthday.

Seriously, moon - maybe if health CARE didn't cost so much, your premiums wouldn't be so high.

Maybe if health CARE didn't cost so much you wouldn't even need insurance.

Vic 5 years, 6 months ago

I'd hate to picture this. You get pulled over...

"License and registration please." "Can I help you officer?" "Do you have proof of insurance?" "Here you are." (Hands car insurance card) "This seems to be in order. Do you have a health insurance card?" "Pardon me?" "It is a federal law that you must have federally mandated health insurance. Please show me your health insurance card." "I'm sorry, Officer. I don't have one. I am very healthy. I never get sick." "Step out of the car."

I applaud the Kansas Legislature for trying to protect the state of Kansas from Big Brother forcing us to buy into their federal control scheme.

georgiahawk 5 years, 6 months ago

TopJayhawk, quoting Old Testament for these modern times? You know there is an updated version called the New Testament? It is a little more compassionate to our fellow man.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 6 months ago

The Whiner Generation and its mantra of “Gimme, gimme, gimme because you owe me” has become quite annoying.

Gee, that's nothing like the "me, me, me" attitude of all the health care opposers. God forbid you share anything with those less fortunate than you.
What about the 300,000 Kansans who won't or can't get coverage? Let 'em die? I'm glad everyone in this state is so willing to help their fellow man. Jesus would be so proud of all of you!

think_about_it 5 years, 6 months ago

There are a hell of a lot more won'ts than can'ts Rick V.

Even the ones that think they're can'ts have cell phones, laptops and cable TV though.

Vic 5 years, 6 months ago

@none2

My example just was an idea of what would be to come if we are forced into getting federally mandated health insurance. I would agree with you that all insurance in general is a crock. You pay someone for piece of mind that if your stuff gets broke, you get sick, or die that they will pay for the expenses. However, when something actually happens, you have to jump through 50 different hoops just to get it done. Insurance is a big scam from the get go. "Paying for piece of mind" or being forced into paying for it is like paying the mafia "protection money." Do it or else. Not a fan of insurance.

dd0031 5 years, 6 months ago

For the life of me, I cannot understand why people are opposed to a requirement to have health insurance. After all, there are a number of other requirements to pay---through taxes anyway---for any number of protective services. We are forced to pay for fire protection, police protection, road access to our houses, trash collection, basic sanitation.

One might say that rejecting health insurance for one's self doesn't harm others. But that's false. Or, at least, it's no more true than the claim that rejecting police protection for one's house and self harms others.

I don't get it. For those who oppose required health insurance, do you also oppose required taxes for police protection? Fire protection? Safe roads? Basic sanitation?

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 6 months ago

think_about_it (Anonymous) says…

There are a hell of a lot more won'ts than can'ts Rick V.

Oh really? How many are there of each?

Even the ones that think they're can'ts have cell phones, laptops and cable TV though.

But isn't that why you're complaining? Because if they took 1/6 of your income, you probably couldn't have these things either...and you don't want to give them up...not even to save other people's lives.

I get it. None of you mean to hurt anyone...or help anyone. I hope you never have to be one of the "can'ts" because they do exist and it's horrible situation to be in.

Vic 5 years, 6 months ago

@dd0031

You are comparing health insurance to a basic service like fire and police protection. Without fire service, fires would rage out of control because there would be little organization in putting them out. Without police, those who chose to do illegal things would always get away with it and we would live in fear. Without health insurance, if we get sick, we pay our own bill rather than the insurance company. Not a valid comparison I think.

The solution is not, nor has it ever been, more government involvement. This country is for the people, by the people, not for the ruling body to line their pockets and control the masses.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 6 months ago

Worth repeating: “28 March 2009 at 6:40 p.m. beobachter (Anonymous) says… …Ok, I'm done, you don't need to ban my account, I won't be back.” ;)

dd0031 5 years, 6 months ago

@Vic:

You compare the current system to a system with NO police or fire protection. That was not my comparison. To see my point better, consider the possibility of having only private police companies and private fire protection. You can choose to buy it, or not. The more people who refuse to buy it, the more expensive it is for those who do (because there is more risk in the pool).

This world would be an utter dystopia. The more people who chose not to get insurace, the more people people who could not afford it, the more these people would be victimized by crime, and unable to protect their homes. In this case, the answer is more government involvement: police and fire protection for all, paid for by all with forced taxation. I see no reason to believe that our current system of health care is in any relevant way different than that dystopian vision of police or fire protection.

We don't want the private police dystopia. Why do we want the health care dystopia? Once again, I don't get it. No one has ever offered me any principled reason for not liking the first, but liking the second.

lindseydoyle 5 years, 6 months ago

If we had a government of, by and for the people we could have decent health care but we don't. The latest ruling by the Supremes said that a corporation is a person and that spending money is speech. We would need to reform the political system before we could reform health care. Aint gonna happen. Current proposals are just a giveaway to the insurance and medical industries.

zzgoeb 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh boy, more Glenn Beck logic here!!! Republicans say keep government out of our lives, then try to legislate us out of healthcare!!! If these folks really believe this, they need to IMMEDIATELY shut down Medicare, and let Grandma move in with them...and no SSI for her either!!! Greedheads all think alike, they DON'T!!!

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

georgiahawk (Anonymous) says…

"TopJayhawk, quoting Old Testament for these modern times? You know there is an updated version called the New Testament? It is a little more compassionate to our fellow man."

Your knowledge of the Bible is astounding.

Pssst - georgia - the New Testament is not an "update" of the Old Testament.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

none2 (Anonymous) says…

"II definitely don't applaud them for the very example you gave. If I'm not forced to have insurance to use medical providers, then why the f$%^& am I required to have car insurance to use the roads. The other joke is that liability insurance is based on the car not the driver. So if you have multiple cars, but only one driver, you still have to pay liability for each and every car even if only one driver can be involved in an accident. The government is simply in bed with the car insurance industry. Until they abolish all mandatory insurance, they are hypocrites. If I have to pay liability insurance, so should medically uninsured people. These Kansas legislators are simply two faced jerks."

Why do people keep trying to compare mandatory car insurance to mandatory health insurance? Seriously, I usually start with the assumption that people have different opinions that don't necessarily mean they're ignorant of the issues, but really, are people really that clueless about insurance?

Nobody is forced to carry comprehensive (aka 'collision') insurance as a condition of using the roads, none2, and health insurance isn't "liability" insurance. You have to carry liability insurance to protect other people against damages that they might incur as a result of something that you - or someone else that you allow to use your vehicle - cause. You do NOT have to carry comprehensive insurance to protect yourself against loss to your own vehicle due to an accident you caused, or a theft, or a tree falling on it, etc. You're allowed to assume that risk yourself, or pay someone to assume the risk for you, as you choose.

And by the way, if you pay a lot more for insurance with one driver but multiple vehicles, I suggest you switch insurance companies. We have almost always had multiple vehicles in our household, but with only one licensed driver (and an exclusion in the policy saying they won't pay for any losses incurred if anyone else in the household drives one of them), the increase was negligible.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

whatthehell (Anonymous) says…

"So let me get this straight…. someone with a kidney condition should buy insurance that doesn't cover their kidneys? huh?"

So let me get this straight... someone who has never bothered to get insurance until after he knows he has big bills to pay should be able to get it then and have everyone that's been paying their premiums pay for their healthcare? huh?

"So when a hospital stay and dialysis are necessary that whole family should be bankrupt and the cost of that issue STILL falls on the rest of us in the form of increased costs?"

Well, theoretically, the cost of that issue SHOULD fall on the person who chose not to carry insurance, not the rest of us. But hey, I realize there aren't too many people who believe in the concept of personal responsibility any more.

"Do you realize that arguments like that completely devalue other valid points you make?"

Do you realize that arguments like that completely devalue any other argument you make other than you're just trying to get someone else to pay your medical bills?

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 6 months ago

As barry would say:

Obstructionism and the G "NO" P live unprecedented.

God help us all.

Kyle Chandler 5 years, 6 months ago

The Kansas Legislature IS Big Brother!!.....pretending that they are 'saving us' from ANYTHING is just downright ignorant and yet hilarious!

They have all you half wit De-publicans and Re-mocrats arguing over a scenario that will NEVER happen. NEVER!

The legislature is protecting you from a made up threat that they concocted.......hmmmmm sounds like the War on Terror!!!!

hello Patriot Act....??

Where were you republiCANTs when that piece of 'dead of night' legislature was taking away virtually everything the constitution holds true???? Oh yeah, you were busy SUPPORTING it.! hypocrite chumps!

Dont use the constitution in your arguments idiots! it makes you look even more stupid.

and BTW...if my taxes go up 5% and it eases medicare/caid or any other state funded medical programs...thats fine by me.

Move to China if you dont like it!

jimmyjms 5 years, 6 months ago

"An opinion piece from PolitiFact. Now, that's persuasive."

Hey! Nice way to be an ass but not offer any credible refutation of the facts. Way to go.

You, sir, are a chump. The rest of your post is too poorly reasoned to respond to.

PosseComitatus 5 years, 6 months ago

As I have stated in previous comments, this is where this discussion needs to take place. This is a state and local issue.

The battle between heath care providers and insurance companies will keep expanding like our national debt. The more money that is funneled into health insurance with be instantly soaked up by the hospitals raising prices, in turn premiums will increase to maintain margins for the insurance companies. The cycle then repeats until it becomes unsustainable.

In a free market economy we can't just institute a mandatory product no matter what it is. It will become unbalanced without natural supply and demand controls on it.

There is only one logical answer to this problem and it has to be driven at the local level to be successful. Expand the county health departments to provide a minimum level of care as determined by the people. This cuts out the middleman (insurance companies) and provides a safety net while not completely exploding the system currently in place.

Of course no one wants this option, but it is the only model that will work.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh goody, the troll's up early this morning.

"porch_troll (Ignoramus) says…

"There's no incentive for the premiums to go down if the population you're writing on gets healthy. That cuts into your profit margin. You knew that, didn't you?"

There's no incentive for the premiums to go down if the legislature mandates a minimum loss ratio (as the Senate bill, at least, includes), since any reduction in premiums results in a bigger reduction in your profit margin. You knew that, didn't you?

(Pssst - poorchie - that was a rhetorical question - of course you didn't know.)

"There's no incentive for them to write on that population and they don't have to."

There's no incentive for people to carry health insurance when they can get it after they find out they need it. You knew that, didn't you?

(Pssst - poorchie - that was another rhetorical question - of course you didn't know.)

"Might be hard for some here to get their heads around that seemingly contradictory methodology but you can't argue with better outcomes at lower cost across many other countries of all political persuasions."

Might be hard for some here (and it's been painfully clear that includes the porch_troll) that those countries don't have better "outcomes". But don't let facts get in your way, pooch - they never do, after all.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 6 months ago

When is Dear Leader going to follow through on his promise to put the Congressional health care discussions on C-SPAN?

Vic 5 years, 6 months ago

It's all a money making scam. Every little thing has become this.

An individual doctor takes an oath to Do No Harm but the health industry realizes that they are making money on treating long term illness. The money is in treating the symptoms, not in finding a cure. What was the last major disease they cured? Polio?

Insurance companies know that you are paying them for piece of mind and purposely make it difficult for doctors and patients to get the money to pay for their health problems. A scam of the highest order.

Doctors are angry they can't get the money from the evil insurance companies. The average person is angry they have to pay so much to these same evil insurance companies. The government, seeing the outcry, moves to step in and regulate. Insurance companies find loopholes and work around the system. Some politicians see the money these companies make. Evil is often enveloped by a greater evil, in this case, evil politicians. It's all about the money people. Follow the money.

orbiter 5 years, 6 months ago

“Pssst - georgia - the New Testament is not an “update” of the Old Testament.” – notajayhawk

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:17)

Then I shouldn't be eating this lobster wrapped in pork covered in whipping cream? I should have killed my sons the other day when they talked back? Then I should start sacrificing animals to God because the smell is pleasing to him? Dang. It's cool though because I'm sick of turning the other cheek. And my foreskin is pretty annoying.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

jimmyjms (Anonymous) says…

"Hey! Nice way to be an ass but not offer any credible refutation of the facts. Way to go."

Awwww, poow widdle jimmy is touchy today.

1) An opinion piece is not "fact", jimmy.

2) Which part was I supposed to "refute"? As I pointed out, you either misread, misunderstood, or misrepresented what the article said; your claim was that insurance companies can "drop" people for preexisting conditions, and the article said no such thing.

3) As to what the article actually opined on, that it was somehow a bad thing that insurance policies don't have to be written on preexisting conditions, I attempted to explain to you how insurance works, since you evidently have no clue. But if you believe it was poorly reasoned, are you saying it's perfectly reasonable for someone to get insurance for a condition that already exists, so all the people that have already been paying into the pool have to pay for it?

"You, sir, are a chump."

I consider that high praise coming from the likes of you, jimmy. And I'd much rather be a "chump" than a "leech" anyway.

beatrice 5 years, 6 months ago

nota, I love how I can get your little boy panties all in a bunch and make you go all sexist creepy on us. Very funny. Always calling me "dearie." I'll bet you talk sweeter to me than you do your own wife. Funny.

Four whole congressmen! Wow, very impressive! And all those conservatives bunching up together in one place. Sounds like a Taliban party to me!

gogoplata 5 years, 6 months ago

Good job republicans. Bring the power back to the states.

Jimo 5 years, 6 months ago

So, the same people complaining that we need to cut back on spending (so as not to raise taxes) are volunteering to take on an expensive lawsuit guaranteed to fail (that is, is unoriginal and was conclusively settled as a constitutional issue in the early 19th century)??

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says…

"nota, I love how I can get your little boy panties all in a bunch and make you go all sexist creepy on us."

Whereas bea is so proud of the fact that her industrial-strength granny-girdle couldn't get in a twist if she left it overnight in a car-crusher.

"Very funny. Always calling me “dearie.” I'll bet you talk sweeter to me than you do your own wife. Funny."

I talk very sweetly to my wife, bea. But then, my wife isn't a whiny, entitled, uneducated, passive-aggressive liberal that talks out of both sides of her mouth - so there's that difference.

Now, bea, dearie - I know senility is such a terrible thing, but we've talked about this before. Please, sweetie, get some help remembering things - I don't call you 'sweetie' or 'dearie' because I'm a sexist (I really enjoyed when you tried to introduce racism into that argument, by the way). As I've mentioned (a couple fo times now), there isn't another human being on this planet (or likely any other) that I think of as less of a sexual object. I do it for two reasons:

1) To be condescending, as there's no member of these message boards who deserves it more than you;

and 2) because it annoys you, and any time I can annoy the likes of you, I know I'm on the right track.

"Four whole congressmen! Wow, very impressive! And all those conservatives bunching up together in one place. Sounds like a Taliban party to me!"

Perhaps you should get someone to read and explain the big words to you, sweetie. The post of yours that I was replying to had to do with the state government. You seem fixated with numbers and appear to think they tell the whole story, so I pointed out that, according to the numbers, your opinions are pretty much irrelevant when it comes to that state government. But I can see that, as usual, the numbers mean everything when they're on your side, and nothing when they're against you. The whiny liberal mantra: "but ... but ... but that's *different."

statesman 5 years, 6 months ago

WOW all you right-leaning good ol' boy Republicans just can't stand to see Obama's health care plan come to fruitation, can you? Yet you clowns offer no alternative solution; just tear down what the Democrats are trying to do. Republicans are nothing but obstructionists and have NO desire to better this country. You clowns cannot bear the fact WE THE PEOPLE elected a black man to run this country. As far as I'm concerned, Republicans are racists, pure and simple.

rhd99 5 years, 6 months ago

Let's get with the program, folks, the DEMS don't have a clue about what the benefits are to individual mandates for health insurance. If they DID, then why are they refusing to explain the positives behind these stupid mandates? HMM? The fact is, they're all talk and no concrete action. Put up or shut up, DEMS!

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

whatthehell (Anonymous) says…

"If that individual DID have insurance, had kidney problems, but recovered and needed treatment from time to time, he may be cancelled or have his premiums raised under current laws. Furthermore, if he should desire to leave his “group” and start a business he will not be able to buy health insurance that would cover his kidneys or any related health issues, even though he had faithfully paid into the health care system for years."

First, I personally don't think an insurance company should be allowed to drop a person for an illness or injury that occurred while they were covered, as long as they can pay the premiums. It would be better, again in my opinion, if we could settle healthcare claims the same way we do auto or homeowners' claims - with a set amount. I.e., the insurance company pays for the immediate bills (e.g. the surgery, hospital charges, or other initial treatment), plus a set amount (either lump sum or annuity) for future care. Isn't that the way lawsuits are settled? Then a future insurer could write a policy that excludes only that condition, which is already being paid for.

I also believe everyone should have the choice of buying insurance, without being excluded for preexisting conditions. But I see no reason why they shouldn't have to pay more for their premiums. That's the way all other forms of insurance work - people with a lot of past claims pay more. Even in the proposed legislation, it's allowable to charge more for smokers. Now, at face value it's easy to say that's a lifestyle choice made by the person - yet the proposed legislation does not allow charging more for, say, a history of drug or excessive alcohol use, poor dietary or exercise habits, being in a high-risk occupation, etc., that are also lifestyle choices which can lead to higher future healthcare costs.

As far as changing jobs or plans, isn't that what a Certificate of Creditable Coverage is for? I don't know how binding those are on forcing an insurer to write a policy, but I wouldn't have a problem with legislation to make that a reality - again, with higher premiums.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 6 months ago

@ statesman

That's what the G "NO" P is all about!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance = Pro Business and Pro Consumer Health insurance! YES!

Let ME pay for IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance with MY tax dollars for MY IMPROVED Medicare Health insurance.

Here's the deal. IMPROVED Medicare 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 IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance coverage. A 3.3% payroll tax is doable.

IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance would create an estimated 2.6 million jobs. As a result of that economic impact a variety of other jobs will surface.

The fact that IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance would be paid 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 the medical insurance industry to the tune of at least $1.2 trillion a year which is quite a gravy train I'd say. Next year this will increase by changing nothing and not passing the IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance Act.

In essence it is MY tax dollars that will pay MY portion of IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance.

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

IMPROVED Medicare Health Insurance is an extraordinary deal that would free up more expendable cash to be spent elsewhere thus creating new jobs. Things like birthdays, home improvements, investments,wellness programs or a fuel efficient automobile

Social Security and Medicare are two very smart insurance plans

Kansas lawmakers are anti economic growth and anti new jobs.

pace 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe if we imitated the medical and insurance corporations and just sent cash to our legislatures they would let us working families have access to reformed health care options. The amendment seems like another waste of time since the republicans have decided the people need to continue to pour their money into the empty pit of our current system. I am so tired of their lies and bully pulpits.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

whatthehell (Anonymous) says…

"nota… after reading your last post, is it possible we might almost, just a little bit agree on something, even a smidge?"

As I recently said to another member, sometimes people can find out they're standing on the same spot when they stop facing in two different directions.

"You think there should be just a tiny bit of legislation that requires a large entity to do the right thing? What happened to, let the free market and competition take care of themselves?"

I don't see that as a major intrusion on business or an interference in the free market. We already say, for example, that a business can't arbitrarily exclude a certain group - e.g., you can't refuse to seat a person in a restaurant because of their race for example. You also can't refuse to hire someone because of their age or gender. So saying that an insurance company that offers coverage to the public has to insure the entire public is a pretty normal part of doing business. As for the interference in the free market, remember, I did say there's no reason those people shouldn't be charged premiums appropriate to their risk factors.

whynaut 5 years, 6 months ago

The way that some of you selectively rebut to off-topic arguments that you take out of context in order to bolster your narrow and poorly thought out world views... perhaps you should consider running for the state legislature.

Or... you could quit arguing for the sake of arguing, realize your are an anonymous voice that nobody but yourself takes seriously, and wisely keep your fingers still until you have something of real value to contribute to the public conversation.

Then again, after hearing countless complaints about the obvious worthlessness of (most of) these comments and the uneducated, mean spirited, rehtoric they perpetuate, the LJW will soon be unveiling a better commenting system. No longer will a rational reader be forced to skim through inarticulate poo slinging in order to find a truly thoughtful response to an article.

Your days are numbered morons. When the new system is implemented, I hope you find something to do. Just be careful never to let your online identity be known in the real world. That could be very embarrassing for you.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porch_person (Anonymous) says…

"The “facts”, notajayhawk, are these:"

Ah, poochie, a mind - even one as deficient as yours - is such a terrible thing to waste.

"The United States is 33rd in Infant Mortality Rate as measured by the United Nations."

and

"The United States is 46th in Infant Mortality Rate as measured by the Central Intelligence Agency. "

I've asked you this on several occasions, little troll, and you've never even taken one of your moronic attempts at answering. But how can it be a "fact", child, when your two sources don't even agree with each other? Is it a "fact" that we're 33rd? Then the CIA would be wrong, wouldn't they? Is it a "fact" that we're 46th? Then the U.N. would be wrong, wouldn't they?

All of which is moot. It has been explained to you, exhaustively, every other time you've brought up this same old losing argument, that infant mortality is not a measure of healthcare "output". I have linked to several sources, as you well know but choose to blindly, dogmatically ignore, that the leading causes of infant mortality in this country have nothing to do with our healthcare system.

The same with longevity, troll. There are too many other factors involved in longevity to claim that it is a measure of healthcare "output". You could - you won't, but you could - try looking at some of the major causes of early death in this country compared to others. Are there as many traffic fatalities in Cuba as there are in the US, poochie? Are there as many deaths from GSWs in Sweden? A lot of drug-related deaths in Iceland, are there? Does Cyprus have as many fatal industrial accidents? Do you think people do as much bungee jumping, hang gliding, or cliff diving in Austria, poochie? If you factor out all those things, pooch, if it was possible to do so, then longevity comparisons might look significantly different, wouldn't they?

If you wanted to look at healthcare outputs, troll, you might want to look at something that's actually a result of the healthcare system - cancer survival rates, for instance. But you wouldn't do that, would you, junior, because it doesn't fit with your delusions.

"It's real easy to find where we are in per capita spending for health care. We're first!! We spend more money per capita than any other place on the planet for health care."

Now, pooch, if you want an accurate comparison, why don't you try finding the per capita expenditures as a percentage of disposable income? It really doesn't matter if you only have to spend $5 for a doctor's visit if your monthly income is $10, does it?

How many times do you want to lose this argument, child?

pace 5 years, 6 months ago

The republicans are too smart to admit their racism, just not smart enough not to embrace it. It rides their votes and remarks like a dark shadow. They literally are looking for the "great white hope". What is the republican plan to reform the Health care system..other than spinning ads to the public?

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porchfinkeler (Ignoramus) says…

"My statistics from the United Nations and the CIA are facts. I stated exactly what they were and I made no claims that they were supposed to match exactly. I stated “as measured by (each party)”."

Just out of curiosity, porchfinkeler - do you really believe being pedantic makes you less of a troll?

Now, do you want see how funny you look from the perspective of anyone with a normally functioning brain, pookie?

If your 'argument' is that the only 'fact' you reported was that the CIA and the UN reported some numbers that don't agree with one another, then you have no idea what the actual number is, and you haven't given any evidence at all to support your claim of poorer outcomes, have you, dimbulb?

Not to mention, as I said, that's a moot point, since infant mortality is not a measure of healthcare 'outcomes', is it? Did you forget that little detail, little one?


Liberty, Pilgrim - it's like trying to teach math to an earthworm, isn't it?

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porchfinkeler (Ignoramus) says…

"Be happy to hear you take on the United Nations and the CIA."

Well, thanks to you, porkie, I don't have to, do I? The CIA says the U.N is wrong. The U.N. says the CIA is wrong. I don't have to say anything at all to prove that the numbers you reported are, by definition, at least partly in error.

Thanks for playing.

KS 5 years, 6 months ago

Hope it passes. The Federal Government has stuffed things down the throat's of states for a long time.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porchfinkeler (Ignoramus) says…

"My argument is that America is behind in health care outcomes. I provided rankings on two different parameters from two independent organizations."

No, you didn't. You provided two different rankings on the same parameter, and you can't even understand that makes one of them, by definition, wrong. And since you don't know which one - or even if either one - is right, you still have absolutely no evidence to back up your so-called 'argument'.

Again, a moot point, since infant mortality is not a measure of healthcare outcomes.

"Infant Mortality Rate is a very common parameter for comparing health care systems."

Yeah, you've made that claim before - like here:

27 January 2010 at 2:06 p.m. porch_person (Anonymous) says…

"People use infant mortality rates for comparison under the assumption that children are precious and how a country treats its most precious demographic can be extrapolated to how it treats other demographics"

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/jan/26/health-care-reform-rally-set-downtown-lawrence/#c1125638

So, at 1:17 pm, when you said "The “facts”, notajayhawk, are these:", what you meant by "facts" was:

An "extrapolation"

based on an "assumption"

based on what a country holds "precious"

and you've since qualified (porchfinkeled) that with

"“as measured by (each party)”

when "those assessments are not exactly equal between the two organizations"

Yep, an "extrapolation" based on an "assumption" of what's "precisous" "as measured by" "two organizations" whose "assessments are not exactly equal".

Now THOSE are some pretty solid "facts", troll.

"So using your (non) logic, which political poll is the “accurate” one?"

Thanks for calling the reported numbers "political", troll - because I never did.

I don't have to say which one is accurate, troll. You're the one attempting to use them to support your (lack of an) argument. It's up to you to establish their validity. And since the two numbers YOU provided us with don't even match each other, at least one of them has to be wrong. If one is, what evidence can YOU supply that either is accurate?

Again, nice try, thanks for playing.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

none2 (Anonymous) says…

"I still don't see the big difference between car and health.. If someone doesn't have health insurance, on the surface it sounds like it only affects them. However, how many hospitals and doctors are allowed to turn away those who cannot afford treatment because they were too stupid to have at least a catastrophic or high deductible health insurance? The general public ends up being “liable” for their expenses in terms of higher service costs and those entities that pay for the existence of that medical facility. It may not be as directly liable as someone in an auto accident when the other doesn't have liability insurance, but indirectly it is the same darned thing."

The point is, at least for the person carrying (or not carrying) the coverage, the choice is theirs to make.

Any hospital with an ER is not allowed to refuse anyone in need of emergency care, provided they participate in Medicare (which virtually every hospital does). As far as doctors not accepting patients without insurance, that's more the case with specialists than GPs (although even GPs may ask for money up front). I don't have insurance, and had no problem seeing a doctor yesterday.

As to whether or not any of that adds to other people's costs, your assumption is that if people don't have insurance, they won't pay their bills. Believe it or not, many people will. Most providers would rather work out a payment plan than have a default, even if it's a pittance like $20/month. And other people will do what it takes to pay their bills, including mortgaging or even selling the house, selling the car, raid the retirement fund, or take out a loan. Not attractive choices, granted - but that's why it's called a "risk", and any way you slice it, it should be their choice on whether they want to take the risk or assign it for a fee.

Don't know what to tell you on your insurance. On my policy (it's with the little lizard), as I said there's one other adult in the home, she doesn't have and never had a driver's license. They still had me sign off on an agreement that they're not liable if she drives the car. That seemed to satisfy them that only one car would be in use at a time, and my rates only went up about $12 a month for the second vehicle.

Talk to your agent - if you don't have one (if you buy online, for instance, like I do), play with the numbers such as how many miles each car is driven, what it's used for, etc., and see how that changes the total. Maybe you can find where the problem is, that does seem a little high.

jaywalker 5 years, 6 months ago

"They would rather flap their arms and squak than try to get to the actual heart of the rising health-care costs that have ruined so many in our country. "

Ah, but bea, the problem with that argument is that nothing that has been proposed thus far by the Democrats has gotten to "the actual heart of the rising health care costs". And that is THE problem. Once they (and I mean everyone on the Hill) start addressing AN actual problem I'll gain some faith. But whether it's partisanship or just a complete refusal to face the music, the end result is usually so watered down it's a chain restaurant drink. The only thng the current proposals ensure is more cost passed on to us and some of the uninsured coverage. For 3 trillion? And no solution for lowering costs? That's not nearly good enough.

jaywalker 5 years, 6 months ago

Pilgrim,

I'm searching for the person who penned the "porch_person modus operandi" (I like to call it the Porch Playbook). Was that you by chance?

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porchfinkeler (Ignoramus) says…

"Still hanging on to that “if they're not exactly equal, they're no good” argument?"

No, dimbulb. I said they are not factual support of your so-called 'argument'. You can't cite one person saying "John is 6-foot 4-inches tall" and another person saying "John is 5-foot 10-inches tall" as evidence of John's height, moron.

Let me see if I can make this simple enough for you to understand. Maybe if I try thinking like you - let me see if I can figure out a way to lose about 150 points in IQ ...

See, dipstick, you can't have it both ways. You can't say the U.N. is an authoritative source when they say the CIA's numbers are wrong, and in the same breath say the CIA is an authoritative source when they say the U.N.s numbers are wrong. Even your tiny little brain should be able to understand the problem with that.

For the record, peach_pit, I'm not questioning either of your sources. As I said, they already do that to one another. For the record:

I completely agree with the U,N. that the CIA's numbers are wrong.

And I completely agree with the CIA that the U.N.'s numbers are wrong.

There, happy now?

"Thanks for noting that I've said in the past that Infant Mortality Rates are a measure used to compare health care systems. I'll let you in on a secret. I'll do it again, most likely."

I have absolutely no doubt of that. If there's one thing your famous for, it's repeating the same thing over and over well past being proven wrong.

"Oh-kay. So you've called the assessments of health care systems around the world by the United Nations and the CIA “An “extrapolation based on an “assumption”. "

Um, no, porchfinkeler.

You did.

Unlike you, troll, when I put something in quotes, it's because the other person actually said it. I even supplied the link to where you said it. Want it again?

"I'm waiting. I've called for your data and evidence that show that the United Nations and the CIA got it all wrong"

What are you waiting for, P.P.? You already supplied that information yourself.

The CIA said the U.N.s numbers are wrong.

The U.N. said the CIA's numbers are wrong.

Can't you read? Why are you trying to argue with the CIA and the U.N., pooch - you think you're smarter than them or something?

(laughter)

feeble 5 years, 6 months ago

Not much point in coming back to this a day late, but:

"People, whether providers or consumers, have no incentive to make any attempt to hold down costs when someone else is paying."

This is where I believe nota and I fundamentally differ. I believe that Health Care is extremely inelastic. There is an infinite demand for more, or better, health. Those who control access to providers, such as insurers who offer wholesale prices, or even providers themselves can always increase profits by increasing the price for medical services. The only other option is to get sick or hurt and die (perhaps sooner rather than later).

Further, it doesn't particularly matter how much cost shifting is done, even if the providers push the majority of consumers out the market, because EMTALA mandates care, and therefore mandates that the tax payer must still pay for the services even if the individual cannot, so we end up paying either way.

This is why the arguments against a mandate fall flat. We have a back door mandate on taxpayers through EMTALA. We are already there.

I believe that all of nota (and other posters) arguments against HCR are flawed because a free market cannot exist when we have perfectly inelastic demand and a captive consumer base.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

feeble (Anonymous) says…

"This is where I believe nota and I fundamentally differ. I believe that Health Care is extremely inelastic."

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Demand doesn't have to be capable of reaching zero to be elastic. Any reduction is sufficient.

Again, look at the price of oil. The Saudis had been saying since before things got out of hand that the demand for oil, while huge, was not sufficient to support the ridiculous prices. And it fell. Hard. Did the demand drop off altogether? Did everyone in the world suddenly stop using petroleum products? No. But there was an incremental drop sufficient to tell the nutcases paying !50/bbl for futures that people were going to cut back at that price.

The demand for substitute products goes up when the price of the primary product goes too high. Electric cars may be too pricey for common use today - but if gas went out of control and approached, say, $15/gal, you'd start seeing recharge stations in the highway rest areas alongside the gas pumps.

There is no such thing as infinite demand, if for no other reason than eventually the price would reach a point where nobody would be capable of paying it. People will seek out alternatives in healthcare, too. Tell me that, if you were paying out of pocket, you wouldn't drive to the ER in Topeka instead of LMH for a non-life-threatening emergency (say, a cut that needed stitches but you weren't going to bleed out from) if they charged $800 and LMH charged $2,000. Most people who pay out of pocket ask their doctor for a generic prescription when the doc tries to push the latest $400 pill the drug company rep is touting. Most people paying out of pocket at least ask if that expensive diagnostic test is absolutely necessary (and research suggests that around 40% of the time, it isn't). Most people paying out of pocket will patronize that new kid just setting up his practice, or the old guy whose waiting room has ancient furniture and doesn't even have a TV, rather than go to the big-box practice whose building looks like a country club day spa.

The people in JoCo would likely still go to Olathe Medical Center and pay that $12,000 for a basic ER visit. But those who are trying to hold down their costs won't. When we had insurance, we went anywhere, and why not? If we were on our way home from KC and passing by OPMC, we stopped there. From where we live, Olathe and LMH are a tossup, and hey, Olathe is a lot nicer and more comfortable. So now we go to LMH. And it hasn't cut down on the quality of care significantly (well, except the staff at Olathe are a lot nicer), but it saves us a lot.

[continued]

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

[continued]

People often talk about how delaying medical care for minor issues leads to more expensive treatment later on. That's a double edged sword, though. It's true, IF it turns out to be something major and you don't get to it until it progresses. But if you have insurance, you're much more likely to go to the doctor every time you have a headache, every time you have a sniffle. Yes, you'll catch anything major early on - but you'll also use up a lot of healthcare dollars for nothing more than headaches and sniffles. And believe it or not, insurance would be much more affordable if we only used it the way we use virtually all other forms of insurance - for those major, unforeseeable expenses.

Some healthcare is necessary, just as some gasoline is necessary. But it's not ALL necessary, and any drop in demand is sufficient to signal the supply side that prices have gotten too high, just as it happened with oil.

feeble 5 years, 6 months ago

"There is no such thing as infinite demand, if for no other reason than eventually the price would reach a point where nobody would be capable of paying it"

I posit that the continued, year over year increases in healthcare costs provide strong evidence that infinite demand, or effectively infinite demand, is entirely possible. This conclusion has been shared by a number of economists (perhaps it is more fair to say I am borrowing their conclusion) and research groups, such as the RAND corporation.

The following PDF is specific to Military Healthcare, but does look at Healthcare in general. Table 3.1 on page 17 provides a nice summary of a comprehensive lit review that strongly supports the assertion that healthcare demand has been inelastic to price and inelastic to income since 1972. http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/2005/MR1355.pd

"Tell me that, if you were paying out of pocket, you wouldn't drive to the ER in Topeka instead of LMH for a non-life-threatening emergency (say, a cut that needed stitches but you weren't going to bleed out from) if they charged $800 and LMH charged $2,000"

It doesn't matter. Both would have to treat me, even if I couldn't afford either price. ER Medical care is already federally mandated. If I default on that payment, the cost is borne by every other consumer at that provider.

"any drop in demand is sufficient to signal the supply side that prices have gotten too high, just as it happened with oil."

We can both readily point to multiple drops in demand for oil over the last 40 years. I challenge you to find a single instance of a year over year drop in demand for healthcare within the same period.

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

feeble (Anonymous) says…

"I posit that the continued, year over year increases in healthcare costs provide strong evidence that infinite demand, or effectively infinite demand, is entirely possible."

[Dead link, BTW]

But not because of free market forces - that's the point - with third party payers in the system, there IS no free market. There is no incentive, there IS no market force, when people don't even know what they're paying, let alone take any action in response to it.

As I said above, when we had insurance, we never looked at prices, never thought about whether it was cheaper to go to the ER at OPMC, Olathe, or LMH, never asked for generic drugs. We never questioned the need for tests, even if they were repeated three times in the same week on three separate ER visits to the same hospital (which was a frequent occurrence). No matter what our choices were, our cost was the same - a small co-pay and our premiums. That's not the free market at work.

And when prices go up, people don't even believe it's the providers raising the prices. They blame the insurance companies and scream at the government to limit their profits, even though that has nothing to do with the problem. Again, that's not the free market at work.

"It doesn't matter. Both would have to treat me, even if I couldn't afford either price. ER Medical care is already federally mandated. If I default on that payment, the cost is borne by every other consumer at that provider."

But it does matter. Your contention that it does not, and the consequences that you mention, are based on the assumption that people won't pay their bills. Frankly I'm getting tired of hearing that - believe it or not, some people do believe in paying their debts themselves.

"We can both readily point to multiple drops in demand for oil over the last 40 years. I challenge you to find a single instance of a year over year drop in demand for healthcare within the same period."

We don't use our car insurance to pay for gas, do we?

But suppose we did - suppose we used car insurance to pay for our gas, tolls, maintenance like oil changes, tires, etc. - suppose we paid a set monthly fee, and maybe a small co-pay each time we visited a gas station. Do you think we would have seen ANY drop in demand for gas over the past 40 years?

jaywalker 5 years, 6 months ago

"Hey, here's a question: “What do you call people who can't face reality"?

PORCH

PERSON

(can't ya just hear the big, booming, voice-of-God from on high type voice sounding that out?)

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porchfinkeler (Ignoramus) says…

"So where are you reading that the CIA openly stated that the United Nations rankings on Infant Mortality Rate and Longevity were “wrong”?

I read it right here, poochie:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/feb/02/republicans-introduce-amendment-exempt-kansans-fed/#c1133479

Here, since you can't remember what you wrote:

"The United States is 33rd in Infant Mortality Rate" and "is 38rd in Longevity as measured by the United Nations."

But the CIA said they're "46th in Infant Mortality Rate" and "50th in Longevity".

YOU said that, pooch.

Now, we all know you're pretty stupid, troll, so let's go back to first grade math:

46 is not the same number as 33. When the U.N. says 'It's 33", the CIA is not saying 'You're absolutely right, it's 46'.

Get a grip, troll. You had no argument, you made an a** of yourself - repeatedly - by posting two sets of numbers that disagreed with each other, and claiming them both as fact. You're too stupid to understand that if one source says "A" and the other says "B", then the second source said the first source is wrong. This isn't a question of whether fish tastes better than chicken. This isn't a question of whether dogs or cats are better pets. Or, since apparently now you think we're talking about football, whether Joe Montana or Brett Favre is the best quarterback of all time. This isn't an opinion, troll, it is a numerical ranking based (according to you) on "measurement", and if two sources don't agree, then each source said the other is wrong.

46 ≠ 33. Are you going to continue to argue that you're too stupid to grasp even that, P.P.?

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

porch_person (Anonymous) says…

"I didn't say that either the United Nations or the CIA were “wrong” in their assessments. The United Nations never said that the CIA was “wrong” in its assessment. The CIA never said that the United Nations was “wrong” in its assessment."

What part of "46 ≠ 33" did you have trouble with, little one?

Perhaps I was in error - you ARE stupid enough not to know that.

"You're so desperate, you're imposing an artificial condition before you'll accept the findings of either organization. Findings you can't dispute in any other fashion."

The dispute is between the U.N and the CIA, poochie. You posted the numbers yourself. And have been porchfinkeling ever since.

"The speed of light is measured repeatedly. Why? Because scientists get a slightly different answer each time they measure it. Look it up. The speed of light is an average."

Great argument,

Thanks for proving my point.

Got anything else, dimbulb?

kansasplains 5 years, 6 months ago

Let the ones who don't want health insurance pay or go bankrupt when they have something serious. Let the ones who want health insurance, including preconditions, have it and have a more secure future.

Linda Endicott 5 years, 6 months ago

I, for one, really hate it when the two of you highjack a topic and start arguing with each other incessantly...over things that have nothing to do with what was being discussed...

And that constant "(laughter)" thing is incredibly annoying...exactly what internet protocol site taught you to do that??

Linda Endicott 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually, Porch, the topic was that Kansas Republicans were voting to opt out of citizens being required to have health insurance, when and if any federal legislation mandating it is passed...and, I assume, whether the readers of LJW and the forums agreed with this plan...

I don't recall the article saying that Kansas Republicans wanted to opt out of health care reform entirely...

Regardless, the "(laughter)" stuff is still annoying...and when you find things "funny", is it "funny ha ha" or "funny strange"??

If you find that many things funny, that often, in every post, it sounds more like maniacal (laughter) to me...are you sure you're not just hysterical??

Sparko 5 years, 6 months ago

Single payer--the best option. The rest of you who glorify insurance extortion and bankruptcy? There but for the grace of God go you.

Provide for the common defense--promote the general welfare . . . These are not alien phrases. Americans deserve adequate healthcare. The GOP is full of vapid pronouncements, selfishness and empty promises. Hooray-eat the poor.

Tom McCune 5 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Republicans, for all that you do for us. Thank you sir. May I have another?

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