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Opinion

Opinion

Repealing health bill will be tough sell

March 27, 2010

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Already, the political dynamic on health care has started to change. Though Democrats still face a skeptical public, Republicans have a greater burden.

The GOP still may be able to score points against vulnerable Democrats by decrying the admittedly high cost of President Barack Obama’s landmark bill and noting it will be financed with increased taxes. But Republican threats to repeal it if they retake Congress in November also put them in the politically difficult position of threatening to take away millions of Americans’ newly won rights.

The bill Obama signed Tuesday will quickly allow insurance coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions, let young adults stay on parents’ insurance until age 26 and give seniors additional help in paying prescription drug costs now limited by Medicare’s so-called “doughnut hole.”

As someone with a 23-year-old son and a substantial Medicare drug bill, I can attest these are not small things.

Even before the final vote, Democrats were previewing their post-passage tactics by distributing a list of benefits with high public support and asking which ones Republicans wanted to repeal. Beyond that, threats of repeal by top Republicans will accentuate the party’s reputation for negativism when there is no realistic way they could succeed any time soon.

Even with congressional control, any such effort next year would encounter Obama’s opposition. Ultimately, any successful repeal effort would require electing in 2012 a president willing to take the political gamble of advocating the end of expanded coverage for millions of Americans.

To be sure, the long reform campaign still has one more legislative barrier — and potential legal ones. That’s Senate consideration of the so-called “reconciliation bill” that improves the initial measure by removing some of the crasser deals that got it through the Senate just before Christmas.

Any Republican successes won’t change the fact that the landmark bill extending health insurance to more than 30 million additional Americans has become law and that a Democratic Congress and president have fulfilled their party’s long-standing promise.

So what problems remain beyond the final legislative maneuvers and any continuing efforts by critics to misrepresent provisions in the measure?

A crucial factor will be implementation, something Obama stressed in hailing House passage Sunday night. The measure’s complexity, illustrated by the confusing, yearlong debate, means the administration must mount an intensive education campaign to show Americans how to benefit.

In addition, this and future administrations face the continuing challenge of resolving the long-term fiscal problems of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, even if this bill achieves its promised budgetary savings. Increased taxes and decreased benefits for future retirees are almost inevitable.

Perhaps the biggest short-term threat is the vow from some critics to switch the battlefield from Congress to the federal courts. On Tuesday, 13 Republican attorneys general, including Texas’ Greg Abbott, and one Democrat filed a federal court suit challenging the bill’s constitutionality because of the requirement that every American buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

Given the fact that the federal courts in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, are dominated by Republican presidents’ nominees, the judiciary could play havoc with the health insurance plan. But the White House seems confident that won’t happen, and it’s ironic that those who decry judicial activism would have the courts curb or reject a law that resulted from the actions of the voters and their elected representatives.

In the end, some House Democrats who supported the bill will lose their seats in November. Of course, that was always likely, with or without health care, primarily because their districts are too Republican.

And the Democrats now have a chance to turn the tables politically on the GOP because it will be far easier to show people what this legislation will do for them than to decry its passage.

— Carl P. Leubsdorf is the former Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. carl.p.leubsdorf@gmail.com

Comments

Sunny Parker 4 years, 9 months ago

Obomba and Pelosi are stealing from the american tax payers!

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 9 months ago

"challenging the bill’s constitutionality because of the requirement that every American buy health insurance"

Kansas law requires me to carry car insurance. Is that unconstitutional also?

bisky1 4 years, 9 months ago

the way i understand it you are not required to buy insurance, you are required to show you can cover your liability in the event of an accident, insurance is just the cheap bet to cover your liability

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

The repubs know it will not be repealed. They are mad because Obama gave the industry a new and huge profit making opportunity before they did. These people are full of crap.

Since when has any repub party yanked a money making opportunity from their source of political interest money? It does not happen at our city commission level,the state level and WE know not at the national level. Notice how many on the LJW comment sections support corruption?

There are a number of elected officials who are shareholders in the industry which creates ONE HUGE conflict of interest.... of course nothing new in our local,state and national politics. Sorry folks the repubs are being bogus again.

Citizen groups ought to be organizing at local,state and national levels raising hell about this unethical activity.

Medicare ought to be open to all who want to buy into it. Terry O'Neill of Nat'l Organization for Women agrees and would do so in a minute. So would I.

In fact I'm all for keeping high dollar,high profit and corrupt insurance available to all who wish to support such opportunities.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back in. (Will Rogers)

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

RH,

The states regulate auto insurance.

That's the main difference between that and this new bill, a federal mandate to purchase health insurance.

As far as I can tell, the constitutional question is whether or not the federal government has the authority to require all Americans to buy health insurance. The argument that the interstate commerce clause allows it is weak since one is not permitted to buy health insurance across state lines.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

The airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan - it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves. (Camille Paglia)

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

If the feds are mandating health insurance Medicare should be among those choices to buy.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2010/03/reforming_health_reform.html

====================================================================

Grayson-DFL-introduces-optional-Medicare-for-all-bill

Rep Grayson Introduces bill allowing anyone to buy Medicare for All at cost which has 80 sponsors according to the Moyers show on March 26th. http://www.examiner.com/x-41082-Public-Policy-Examiner~y2010m3d26-Rep-Alan-

===========================================

boltzmann 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't see how the so-called "mandate" could be unconstitutional because it is formulated within tax policy. A real mandate would be "you get insurance or go to jail", instead the health reform bill has a provision that exacts an income tax penalty if you don't get insurance. You don't want insurance then pay the penalty. The constitution under the 16th amendment, as interpreted by the courts, gives fairly broad leeway in the manner in which the federal government can collect income taxes. How is it operatively different than having a tax credit for energy efficient furnaces or for buying a home?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Grayson, talk about your own family’s experience with health insurance.

REP. ALAN GRAYSON: Well, in the case of myself, I grew up a very sick child. I went to the hospital four times a week for treatment. I went there only because my parents were both union members who had union benefits. Twice, when I was seven years old and when I was seventeen years old, my parents went out on strike. They were worried about how to pay the rent. I was worried about whether I’d stay alive, whether I’d still be able to get the health benefits that I needed, the healthcare that I needed to stay alive. And that’s a hard, hard thing for a seven-year-old to be thinking about.

When my own children were born, we had private insurance. I have five children. When the first one was born, the insurance company told us, after the child was born, that there were no maternity benefits under the policy, and therefore we had to pay for the birth of the child. I thought I had insurance. I thought it covered it. And it turned out otherwise. So I had to spend $10,000 to cover those bills. But I do know that when you’re sick or when someone you love is sick, you shouldn’t have to be worrying about how you’re going to pay the bill. That’s the last thing you need to be worrying about.

AMY GOODMAN: How, Congressman Grayson, did the House go from saying there would be no question, they would not support a bill without a public option, to where it is today? What went wrong?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON: It’s a mystery to me. I thought we should have gone through reconciliation a year ago. I said it publicly. I never thought that you’d be able to get the cooperation of any of the Republicans. The Republicans have just decided that they’re against everything, and they somehow think that “no” is a policy. I don’t understand the psychology or the politics of that, but that was their decision a long time ago. It’s not as if they kept it a secret. So I knew that we’d get a better bill, and certainly a bill, if we assumed that we could need only fifty senators, with the Vice President voting in case of a tie, versus sixty. And we would have had a much better bill.

Now, why it is that we can’t take up my bill at this point, a simple three-and-a-half-page bill that simply allows people an alternative that they don’t have under present law, harms nobody, I don’t know. But I do know that in four days we attracted seventy sponsors for this bill. And I do know that at our website, wewantmedicare.com, we’ve attracted over 25,000 signatures on our petition, and the number grows all the time, every minute. So what we’re hoping is that this becomes a rallying cry for people who want better healthcare in this country.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

There is no such thing as a free lunch. (Milton Freidman) There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. (Robert Heinlein)

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Where do we find medicare fraud? The privatized health care industry such that republicans Sen Bill Frist family pulled off. They made off with billions and are still in business. The Bush admin was kind to that family of white collar criminals.

Where does insurance fraud take place? The privatized insurance industry who rips off billions from consumers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Oh my Paying yet getting less is fraud as well

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

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

There is such a thing as a Free Lunch which can be found right here in Lawrence,Kansas aka tax increases

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

boltzmann,

Interesting - so you'd say those who buy health insurance are getting a tax credit/rebate for it.

We'll see if that's argued at any point in the debate.

FreshAirFanatic 4 years, 9 months ago

The majority of American's didn't want the bill passed to begin with. Poll after poll showed it. [Accurate polls with legitimate questions that is].

The headline is misleading. Repealing it will be nearly impossible..it's like stage IV cancer spread throughout the entire body...including education. Selling that it needs to be repealed will be and is a piece of cake. The problem is, those who have to sell the repeal have zero power to actually do it.

Anyone else see this? http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-2/LED-248406/Healthcare-Reform-Will-Impact-LongTerm-Care

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

The even harder part about repealing this is that this is essentially a Republican plan. It's the Republican counter proposal to Hilary Care plus Mitt Romney's individual mandate from the Massachusetts plan.

Plenty of people who opposed this proposal did so because it was way too conservative. - That is why polls often showed opposition. Only 8% of Americans thought health care didn't need reform at all.

I suggest Republicans counter propose with a single-payer system. If the Democrats are going to steal a conservative plan, the Republicans might as well go with a liberal plan.

Oh, and we should all wish Rush a bon voyage as he moves to Costa Rica. I hear the socialized medicine is lovely there.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

If it ever goes into effect, it's doubtful the republicans will ever allow the odious parts it to be funded.

It's too bad it wasn't written to be acceptable to the American people. The democrats could have passed a law without the mandates that all Americans must buy some product from a corporation simply because they are Americans and the bill would probably be fairly popular.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

"Now I don't have to pay for Posercare and if I quit paying my mortgage Posey will pick up that bill too!"

If you quit paying your mortgage and obama bails you out, there is a 50% chance you will quit paying it again. History has shown that to be true.

boltzmann 4 years, 9 months ago

jafs (anonymous) says… "boltzmann, Interesting - so you'd say those who buy health insurance are getting a tax credit/rebate for it. We'll see if that's argued at any point in the debate."

Technically, it is implemented as a tax penalty. Initially, starting 2014, someone who choses not to buy insurance would pay a penalty of $95 or 1% of income, which ever is greater. This rises to $695 or 2.5% of income, which ever is greater by 2016. Operationally, this is the same as increasing taxes by that amount and giving people a tax credit up to the amount for buying insurance. My argument here is not whether this is a good or bad thing (I think it is good for the reasons I outline below) - my point is that since this is framed in terms of a tax and not an absolute legal mandate, I don't see how this would be ruled unconstitutional, without simultaneously ruling unconstitutional large sections of the current federal tax code.

I think making penalties for not getting insurance is good, as it is really the only way to address the problems of pre-existing conditions. One cannot reasonably require insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions without having some sort of requirement that people buy insurance - otherwise people would simply wait until they got sick and then buy insurance. Also, we already have a mandate on the treatment end in that the Emergency Medical act of 1986 (signed by Reagan) mandates hospitals that accept HHS funds (which is nearly all hospitals) to treat patients who show up at the emergency room, independent of ability to pay or legal status. This is why a large fraction of our emergency care is uncompensated. Pushing people to get into the insurance pool should go a long way to help alleviate this problem as well.

lindsaydoyle 4 years, 9 months ago

"Kansas law requires me to carry car insurance. Is that unconstitutional also?"

That is not a good analogy. Health "insurance" is not really insurance, which protects one against catastrophic loss. It is managed care. A better analogy would be like a new car warranty. Extended warranty is not required by law. If it were ther would be an auto repair shop on every corner.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

"The bill Obama signed Tuesday will quickly allow insurance coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions, let young adults stay on parents’ insurance until age 26 and give seniors additional help in paying prescription drug costs now limited by Medicare’s so-called 'doughnut hole.'"

Those Democrat monsters!

I hope Republicans run against all of it. They should speak out loudly against allowing insurance for those with prexisting conditions, against young people staying on their parents' insurance, and against getting prescription drugs to seniors currently left without them. Winning strategy Republicans! I say, go for it!

The party of No isn't going to fair as well as they hope come No-vember.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

June 17 2009 - Huffington Post

Poll Shows 76% Support For Choice Of Public Plan

Poll numbers from NBC/Wall Street Journal produce two major and potentially conflicting story lines when it comes to the Obama administration's efforts for a health care overhaul. On the one hand, the American public overwhelmingly favors a choice between getting insurance coverage either through the private market or a government run option. Indeed, 76 percent of respondents said it was either "extremely" or "quite" important to "give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/17/obama-boost-new-poll-show_n_217175.html

==================================================================

Another Poll Shows Majority Support for Single-Payer

A New York Times/CBS News poll released last week shows, yet again, that the majority of Americans support national health insurance.

The poll, which compares answers to the same questions from 30 years ago, finds that, “59% [of Americans] say the government should provide national health insurance, including 49% who say such insurance should cover all medical problems.”

Only 32% think that insurance should be left to private enterprise.

http://www.healthcare-now.org/another-poll-shows-majority-support-for-single-payer/

===============================================================

Health Insurance Premiums Soar as New Polls Show Americans Want Reform

"SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE FOR ALL! Everybody IN so No One is LEFT OUT"

by James Parks, Mar 11, 2010

A survey from Economist/YouGov released this week shows 53 percent of respondents support changes proposed by the Obama administration. A second poll by Ipsos/McClutchey shows that 53 percent of Americans either support the current reform option or hope for an even stronger reform package. More than a third of those who oppose current reform proposals actually favor stronger reforms.

Meanwhile, a study by Health Care for America Now (HCAN) shows jaw-dropping insurance premium hikes—up 97 percent for families and 90 percent for individuals between 2000 and 2008. Premiums rose two times faster than medical costs and more than three times faster than wages. Companies like WellPoint are raising premiums by as much as 39 percent in California and by double digits in at least 11 states.

An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that people who bought insurance on their own between 2004 and 2007 on average paid more of their health expenses themselves—52 percent—than insurance companies. Yet those who had employer-sponsored coverage only paid 30 percent out of pocket.

The industry front group, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), heard plenty this week as thousands gathered in Washington, D.C.,

http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/03/11/health-insurance-premiums-soar-as-new-polls-show-americans-want-reform/

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Western PA Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare Working for passage of the "United States National Health Insurance Act", also known as, the "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act" (H.R. 676)

Single-Payer Poll

Survey, and Initiative Results: Several show majority want single payer http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

How is this saving anyone money?

By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Health insurers and drug makers have showered members of the 111th Congress with millions in campaign contributions over the last four years, with a special focus on leaders who will play major roles in shaping health-care legislation, according to a study to be released tomorrow.

Health insurers and their employees contributed $2.2 million to the top 10 recipients in the House and Senate since 2005, while drug makers and their employees gave more than $3.3 million to top lawmakers during that period, according to an analysis of federal elections data by Consumer Watchdog, a California-based advocacy group.

The biggest beneficiaries in the Senate included John McCain (R-Ariz.), with $546,000; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with $425,000; and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), with $413,000, who as head of the Finance Committee will play a leading role in the debate over health-care reform.

In the House, the two groups gave $257,000 to Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and $249,000 to Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.). On the Democratic side, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) received contributions from the insurance sector ($104,000), while Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.) took in $180,000 from drug companies.

The donations underscore the stakes in the health-care debate as President Obama pushes for dramatic changes by year's end, with the aim of sharply expanding the number of Americans covered by health insurance. Obama held a health-care summit at the White House last week and has proposed a $634 billion reserve fund to kick off the process.

The health-care sector has long ranked with financial services and energy interests as one of the most powerful political forces in Washington, and it spent nearly $1 billion on lobbying in the past two years alone. As momentum moves toward overhauling health care, major medical groups have stepped up their lobbying and campaign activities while shifting money and attention to newly empowered Democrats, according to federal records and industry experts.....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/07/AR2009030701748.html

there are far more big dollars that consumers will pay back in increased cost of premiums,co-pays,deductibles, reduced care, pharmaceuticals...

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

How can government be the problem when it is the private health care industry perpetrating the crime,fraud and corruption in the billions upon billions equaling trillions that consumers pay back by way of insurance,clinic,hospital,office calls and prescription bills plus other health care needs.

All of of the above is considered in the cost of doing business.

Tell how could Improved Medicare for All Insurance be the problem?

When poltiicians are screaming out absurd statements about the government taking over are telling you how much they are taking from the private industry aka corruption?

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

""The bill Obama signed Tuesday will quickly allow insurance coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions, let young adults stay on parents’ insurance until age 26 and give seniors additional help in paying prescription drug costs now limited by Medicare’s so-called 'doughnut hole.'"

Those Democrat monsters!"

I don't think anyone will argue against those portions of the bill. Philosophically, I think most are wrong, but I'm willing to accept them, not as a compromise, but to help Americans. I realize that makes me a hypocrite and as willing to sell out my beliefs as porchie and his right-wing defense of the government oppression, but I'll take the hit instead of running from it

What you don't mention are the mandates. Just the fact they have to be dressed up as a tax penalty and the votes for it bought with airport improvements, free medicaid for life in Nebraska and 100 million in bribery for Louisiana should be enough to show you how unpopular with the American people the mandates are.

If that isn't enough, RCP polling averages show that Americans are consistently against the bill in question but for insurance reform

If the democrats were stupid enough to ram through a bill with shady deals and take that hit, they should have just gone all the way and had the government underwrite free insurance for the 40 million without it, hit us with a tax increase, then otherwise leave the rest of us alone. Instead, we got a convoluted, unconstitutional, half-baked mess of idiocy that hand-feeds corporate coffers at the point of a bayonet.

That's the problem with democrats, they are gutless cowards that never do the right thing and always find the least constitutional way of getting the wrong thing done. I hold democrat beliefs 5 to 1 over republican, but I'll never vote for a democrat because of the party's sleaze and lies.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

""Kansas law requires me to carry car insurance. Is that unconstitutional also?""

Nobody is forcing you to own a car, therefore nobody is forcing you to buy car insurance. That's about the most transparently goofy defense you could have come up with.

OTOH, if you didn't own a car, but were forced to purchase PIP by the state of kansas in case you were run over by a car while walking down the sidewalk, would that be constitutional?

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

"You forgot that it will also bankrupt the country without huge tax increases, it will force 50% of all physicians into other careers (maybe IRS collectors) and will therefore remove real health care from a large percentage of the population."

lg40, ever think of maybe supporting your claims with some concrete evidence? Just because you spout something stupid, that doesn't make it true. Regarding "bankrupting the country," not only is that hyperbole, it ignores the fact that it will help bring the deficit down, according to the Congressional Budget Office. http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-treatment/breaking-dems-get-the-cbo-score-they-want

Regarding the 50% of doctors will change their careers, that is beyond silly. They spend 10 - 15 years in school, and now they will shift to become shoe repairmen and bakers? This, because they will be dealing with insurance companies in order to get paid -- just as they did before the bill was signed? As I said, beyond silly.

If "bankrupting the country" is the best you have, again, I hope Republicans run very strongly on their opposition to how the health insurance changes will benefit Americans.

Just curious, why doesn't a trillion-plus spent on a war against a country that didn't attack us and didn't have WMDs not going to bankrupt the country, but a deficit reducing healthcare bill that will help workers maintain their health going to be the thing that bankrupts the country? How exactly will this happen when the costs are spread over a far greater period?

Republican strategist and former Bush speech writer David Frum was recently fired for speaking the truth in recognizing that the Republicans are taking the wrong stand on healthcare, calling their approach a "debacle," and recognizing that it likely will prove to be the "Republicans' Waterloo." Nice to see some Republicans aren't completely blind to the reality of the situation. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502336.html

But then, I'm pointing this out to someone who probably still believes Obama wasn't born in America. Sometimes, heads really are just too thick to get through. Oh well, at least the rest of the country will see the party of "NO" for what they really are.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

lg40, what a coincidence. Born in 1940, and your IQ is 40. What are the odds?

If you really believe only conservatives work in this country, then saying your IQ is 40 might actually be spotting you a few points.

I hope Republicans do run on this anti-healthcare platform, while claiming those who oppose their view are "bums" who don't work. Oh, this just keeps getting better all the time!

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

Ironically, this bill mainly benefits those who already work by allowing them to better negotiate deals and end the fear that changing jobs or becoming self employed means you'll never have coverage again. Those who don't work are ALREADY covered. Hellooo Medicare/Medicaid!

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

The new health care law falls short on many levels. It will "mandate" millions of people to buy insurance from private companies with no guarantee that the policies will be affordable--or adequate in covering them if they actually get sick. It will force cuts in spending and benefits for the Medicare program for the elderly, and it will encourage the ongoing whittling away of coverage that most Americans have through their employers.

http://socialistworker.org/2010/03/26/bargaining-away-womens-rights

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

The hype surrounding the new health bill is belied by the facts:

* About 23 million people will remain uninsured nine years out. That figure translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering.
* Millions of middle-income people will be pressured to buy commercial health insurance policies costing up to 9.5 percent of their income but covering an average of only 70 percent of their medical expenses, potentially leaving them vulnerable to financial ruin if they become seriously ill. Many will find such policies too expensive to afford or, if they do buy them, too expensive to use because of the high co-pays and deductibles.
* Insurance firms will be handed at least $447 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize the purchase of their shoddy products. This money will enhance their financial and political power, and with it their ability to block future reform.
* The bill will drain about $40 billion from Medicare payments to safety-net hospitals, threatening the care of the tens of millions who will remain uninsured.
* People with employer-based coverage will be locked into their plan's limited network of providers, face ever-rising costs and erosion of their health benefits. Many, even most, will eventually face steep taxes on their benefits as the cost of insurance grows.
* Health care costs will continue to skyrocket, as the experience with the Massachusetts plan (after which this bill is patterned) amply demonstrates.
* The much-vaunted insurance regulations - e.g. ending denials on the basis of pre-existing conditions - are riddled with loopholes, thanks to the central role that insurers played in crafting the legislation. Older people can be charged up to three times more than their younger counterparts, and large companies with a predominantly female workforce can be charged higher gender-based rates at least until 2017.
* Women's reproductive rights will be further eroded, thanks to the burdensome segregation of insurance funds for abortion and for all other medical services.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/march/pro-single-payer-doctors-health-bill-leaves-23-million-uninsured

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

Tom, Obama wasn't "anointed," he was first elected, then he was innagurated. You see, in a democracy as we have here in America the person with the most votes wins. I know you only like democracy when it is your side that wins (which is not liking Democracy at all), but the rest of America understands and appreciates this basic truth. You would make a wonderful one-party communist. You know this to be true, don't you? You lie to make a point, you refuse to acknowledge that votes can go in something other than for your one party, and you whine like a baby pulled from his mommie's teet. Pathetic. Grow a pair, quit whining, and be a real American for a change.

L275, you are correct that the bill does fall short on several levels. It isn't perfect. I feel the Democrats blew it by even trying to negotiate with the Republicans in the first place. Attempts at bipartisanship weakened the bill. They should have gone it alone from the beginning and gotten a stronger bill. However, it is a positive start.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

Tom, how did the "social re-engineering and re-distribution of wealth" known as trickle-down economics work out for America?

And yes, you do hate Obama. It is clear in your posts. You have written nothing but hateful things from even before the election, you rarely actually use his name and certainly not his title of President, you pretend he wasn't elected but "annointed," and you don't mind lying to get a point across as you did recently. You simply can't stand that people who share (even distantly) your views were not enough to put McCain and Palin in the White House. Instead, people who don't share your views won the election. And it is driving you crazy. I love that. You hate the democratic process, and I enjoy how much it makes you miserable.

Also, to use reactions towards the past administration as your justification for your childishness is just sad. Two wrongs don't make a right, but apparently, they do make a right-winger.

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

Liberty, I agree. I'd have rather had a public option with the individual mandate, but as it stands, you can opt out and pay the tax penalty. If market forces don't create plans that are cheaper than the tax penalty, I'm thinking that's exactly what will happen.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

Tom, I agree. Anyone who said such things about former President Bush would be speaking foolishly. If you hated it so much, why do you then gladly follow suit?

lg40, how exactly is wanting people to have access to health care the politics of jealousy? You actually agree that people shouldn't be allowed to keep their children on their insurance, or that people with pre-existing conditions should be driven into bankruptcy if hey need medical treatment? Really?

I've earned everything I have, and I really don't care if you believe me or not. However, I don't begrudge those who might need a helping hand, or just an even shake. You would, and that is what makes you terribly sad and unAmerican. However, your assumptions about others (way off base assumptions, I might add,) demonstrate why the Republicans won't be doing quite as well as some might hope they do come No-vember. The people will remember the actions of the party of NO!. Your planned celebration tea party is likely to be a lonely affair.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 9 months ago

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Jesus, it is amazing how little faith right wing crybabies (RWCBs) have in the U.S.A.

Where were all of these deficit chicken littles when trillions were being spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The fact is that the last president to present a balanced budget was Clinton, a democrat. The last republican to do so was Nixon, I think. Maybe Eisenhower. The last republican president turned billions of surplus into deficit through his war of choice in Iraq.

These are the facts.

Suck on that binky, RWCBs.

Now you are worried about the deficit? Sorry, you sacrificed that ability. All you have left is hypocrisy.

Poor little RWCBs.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh Tom, I forgot to answer your question. The weather here is terrific and has been for some time. We are in the 70s, and I usually sit outside in the morning and enjoy coffee by the pool while reading the paper, and we grill several nights a week. The 8 months a year of great weather is why we endure the blazing summers.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

"To tell you the truth, I'm wondering what sort of Tea Party "incident" we have in store. "

It will be an election.

"what makes this health care reform "unconstitutional"?"

Interstate commerce. It has nothing to do with NOT buying something. Also, obama has pissed off the SCOTUS. I think his idiotic complaint in the sotu address about the corporate speech issue will come back to haunt him.

Jock Navels 4 years, 9 months ago

ok...scenario...busted window trailer court woman comes home from the VFW to find her son shot through the stomach by his meth pals, to whom he owes money...what does mom do? she calls 911. ambulance comes. takes son to ICU at regional trauma center. he is in ICU for 5 days, then rehab comes up. he is going to have medical problems for the rest of his life. mom and son don't have health insurance...who pays for this million dollar situation? we all do. already. all you tough individualists out there...i'm with you...a person shouldn't have to have health insurance if they don't want it. but they should also have to sign a waiver that says they don't get any kind of health care unless they pay cash up front for it.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim2, I agree with you. I think Republicans should stand by their convictions and let everyone know that they are against allowing people with pre-existing conditions from getting health insurance, thus health care. Try this motto on for size:

Republicans -- We can't stand the sick!

Oh yes, that will be a winner for you in No-vember.

boltzmann 4 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim2 (anonymous) says… "boltzmann (anonymous) says…

I don't see how the so-called "mandate" could be unconstitutional because it is formulated within tax policy. A real mandate would be "you get insurance or go to jail", instead the health reform bill has a provision that exacts an income tax penalty if you don't get insurance. You don't want insurance then pay the penalty.


And if you don't pay the penalty, you go to jail. It's a chicken**** way of hiding the real penalty for telling the government it is doing something the constitution doesn't give it any authority to do."

And how is that different then not paying your taxes in any other instance? The Constitution through the 16th amendment gives the Federal Government the constitutional right to levy income taxes. Do you deny that?

feeble 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm surprised no one mentioned this.

There are not enough contested seats up for re-election in 2010 to affect a veto proof majority. It is, quite frankly, impossible to repeal Obama's HCR before 2012. Even if the R's win every contested seat, they will still not have enough votes to over come a veto.

To be brutally honest, any politician running on a repeal ticket for 2010-2012 is a bald faced liar. Mathematically, they will not have the votes.

tbaker 4 years, 9 months ago

A veto-proof majority isn't required. If the Dems lose control of congress, ObamaCare can/will be de-funded. Repealing the legislation will be a nice rallying cry, but it isn't really a realistic goal until 2013. Menawhile, given the long time line on which many of the bill's provisions are implemented, a republican congress not funding them has the same effect as repealing the law. $569.2 billion in new taxes and 160 new bureaucracies and regulations are just not something a republlican congress will pay for.

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." ~ Frederic Bastiat

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Why should billions of health care dollars flow into the hands of politicians and insurance giants when neither provide health care?

It seems Everybody In Nobody Out is the policy in other countries offering socialized coverage why not the USA?

How could government IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for All be the problem? It's the crime and corruption within the privatized health care industry that is the problem.

The problem is the private health care industry aka white collar crooks am I right? Private industry has some long history of committing fraud against the consumers which is not the fault of government it's the fault of the criminals!

IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for All will reduce crime and certainly will reduce the amount of corrupt special interest money going to politicians. We'll be cleaning house a bit.

How much does all of this add to the cost of our health insurance? Billions upon billions which begin to equal trillions.

Why should so many health care dollars flow into the hands of politicians and insurance giants when neither provide health care?

Where do we find medicare fraud? The privatized health care industry such that republicans Sen Bill Frist family pulled off. They made off with billions and are still in business. The Bush admin was kind to that family of white collar criminals.

http://www.laweekly.com/2003-01-16/news/the-bad-doctor http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/insurance/articles//?storyId=17490&bIndex=35

Where does insurance fraud take place? The privatized insurance industry who rips off billions upon billions from consumers by way of over charging medicare and clients.

There are some big dollars that consumers will pay back in increased cost of premiums,co-pays,deductibles,pharmaceuticals... yes to cover political expenses and fraud.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

Health Care Reform Bill? What did it reform?

Conservatives say "NO" leave it alone but say Tort Reform, smaller gov't, free market and some other usual party line stuff, right? Liberals (Progressives) with the Pres leading the charge got bill through without anyone in the loyal opposition joining. Sorry to generalise but even fav poster boy for blame Dubya got stuff through with support from across the aisle.

(Dems/Repubs am the evil of two lessers)

There is a cost to be born, my (yup, I'm selfish) share is higher burden/dollars must be paid into my employer funded self insurance benefit plan. Not Cadillac but good plan. Corp. Lawyers and Accountants at several major companies already announced additional charges for 2010 vis'-a'-vis' the new bill. I already pay >$4K/year for my corp. cafeteria

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

healthcare benefits. It's worth everypenny and a major reason why I became a maggot feeding off corps of a large multi-national corp. I put up with arcane work rules and random urinalysis. I give up a lot to earn my extra's in spades.

It really sucks man. (Bart Simpson)

Oops back to the topic, I get distracted easily. Reform, what reform? What was the intent of the bill, "to provide ins. coverage for those that don't have, prevent denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions and make it cheaper? Well somehow universal coverage (free healthcare for all) didn't happen but there is other stuff in bill that got done (some stuff that has nothing to do with healthcare).

Like removing a fly from your friends forehead with a hatchet. (some commercial)

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

From where I stand, it increases cost especially for me and other working folk who pay alot for HC, pay for it in more ways than one, premiums-copay-deductable. Sorry but giving something to one that does not do anything to get cheapens the effort it took others get.

When something is free what does that say? Depends on where one stands. If beer was free during happy hour would you drink your usual one?

When I brought family from Europe into this country for visits, INS now ICE required an affidavit of support to prevent family from taking public money for any negative eventuality. Medical, food, housing, education. When one neice wished to modify student visa to include work she was sumarily ordered to go home and reapply for dual work/school visa. We navigated this stuff and paid all fees for all forms and atteneded all required hearings. It was a whole lotta fun wish you were there.

PT Barnum would say, what, there's a sucker born every minute? Shoulda just paid for a Mexican visa and met them in Juarez but I'm obviously just a sucker.

Reform?

I do not see where anything has been reformed, it has just become more complicated and more expensive.

Those that already had HC coverage will pay more and get less. Those that had no HC coverage will now have HC whether they want it or not. The old business model where treat first then write off the loss (yes, there is a place on the balance sheet for write off's and yes that is passed along for those that do pay) is out. More government oversite of HC is now in effect, it will just take time to ramp it up.

Will HC be better for everyone now? Don't know, one can only hope the change is for the better.

Can't help but think the complexities of what HC is is what makes it so expensive. Used to be family had a more simple definition, partner was a business term, folks just died from illness, there were no elective procedures, doctors would make house calls, many old folks were bent over and used canes, the nickname patches meant you lost an eye, my uncle's fav trick was to jab an icepick into his wooden leg to scare the neighbor kids, there were no experimental treatments except ice water and electroshock therapy. Life was more simple and brute and I do not miss it.

Now I am made to pay for my HC and part of someone else's HC who is not part of my family.

Everybody on average does get more and better though.

One-third of the people in the United States promote, while the other two-thirds provide. (Will Rogers)

Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. (Will Rogers)

Now will congress get off their a$$ and do something about universal Legal and Dental Care!

Signed, Soon to be the Dependant1

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

Just clarify one point and add 1

If beer was free during happy hour would you drink your usual one? I'd have 3.

If I was not subjected to random urinalysis, I'd transfer to Colo. and get a medical marijuana card for my particular pain (the pain starts on my right exterior glutious maximus (buttock) and extends up just behind my right eyeball).

One of my kids (CSU) says you need $300.00. The licensed clinic ushers you next door to the doc to get the Rx for $150 then you come back and pay $150 for your first Rx. If I ever see his name on one of those cards and my HC/Rx plans do not cover it he's paying for his own hi speed internet connection next semester).

Cha Ching!

Who said, "for every solution, there's a problem waiting to be discovered"?

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

Starbucks Barristers should be tested and licensed too.

Michael Throop 4 years, 9 months ago

So, now, for daring to question its assertions on the joys of nationalized health care, the fist of The State and its enforcers is aimed squarely at the jaw of Caterpillar, Deere and Company and Verizon.The ultra-liberal Henry Waxman and his left wing minions will do their best to bully, insult, and harrass the leaders of these companies, and, who knows, maybe one or two of the CEOs, who are trained to answer plainly and directly, will falter,whimper and slink into a corner, accepting the offer of a free trip to Obama Re-education Camp. Why is this inquisioon necessary? Why is your president wasting precious fuel and warming up the atmosphere jettting around in Air Force One to boost up the brainless masses of supporters if this is a done deal? The liberals won, didn't they? Game over, case closed, I thought. I guess not. Those who issue their reports on this socialist monstrosity(as required under Sarbanes-Oxley, by the way) and whose figures don't jibe with the numbers from the tall corridors of The Almighty's ruling roost will be threatened with the wrath and the punishment of The State. Seems more ominous every day.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

snap-

so you did get a card.

okay, pay for your own hi speed connection and you now have responsibility for the copay.

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

Gee, sorry I got to this one late.

RonHolzwarth (Ron Holzwarth) says…

"Kansas law requires me to carry car insurance. Is that unconstitutional also?"

As I believe others have pointed out, you are not required to carry insurance against personal loss, only loss you caused to someone else.


jafs (anonymous) says…

"As far as I can tell, the constitutional question is whether or not the federal government has the authority to require all Americans to buy health insurance. The argument that the interstate commerce clause allows it is weak since one is not permitted to buy health insurance across state lines."

I believe there's also the unfunded mandate aspect. The fed is requiring the states to spend a lot of new money on Medicaid that the states just don't have.


geekyhost (anonymous) says…

"The even harder part about repealing this is that this is essentially a Republican plan. It's the Republican counter proposal to Hilary Care plus Mitt Romney's individual mandate from the Massachusetts plan."

Oh, seriously.

I read that attempt at spin the AP put out, too - it was an absolute crock. They mentioned a handful of Republicans and somehow made it sound as if it was a plank in the party platform. And they were pretty clear that the Republicans offered it as an alternative to a nationalized plan - which is like saying 'Okay, you can cut off my arm if the gangrene is going to kill me', which doesn't exactly mean you're "in favor" of cutting off an arm.

By the way, this plan has all of the bad points of Romney's plan (mandated insurance) without any of the benefits (like cost savings).

"That is why polls often showed opposition. Only 8% of Americans thought health care didn't need reform at all. "

The polls were pretty consistent that the public did not want any plan that had the support of only one party.

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"You know what the current approval ratings are? I think we covered this last week. You go to Rasmussen Reports. You have absolutely no clue as to how America thinks."

We know what it thinks of the president.

RCP Average 3/10 - 3/27 -- 47.5 46.5 +1.0 Gallup 3/25 - 3/27 1547 A 46 46 Tie Rasmussen Reports 3/25 - 3/27 1500 LV 47 53 -6 Washington Post 3/23 - 3/26 1000 A 53 43 +10 Quinnipiac 3/22 - 3/23 1552 RV 45 46 -1 Bloomberg 3/19 - 3/22 1002 A 50 45 +5 CNN/Opinion Research 3/19 - 3/21 953 RV 46 51 -5 CBS News 3/18 - 3/21 1059 A 49 41 +8 Democracy Corps (D) 3/15 - 3/18 1016 RV 46 48 -2 FOX News 3/16 - 3/17 900 RV 46 48 -2 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 3/11 - 3/14 1000 A 48 47 +1 Pew Research 3/10 - 3/14 1500 A 46 43 +3

The only polls Obama is doing well in are those who poll everyone - you don't even have to be a voter. Even those 'unbiased' folks at CBS don't have the president with majority approval, and CNN has him down by 5 points.

"what makes this health care reform "unconstitutional"? No legal scholar agrees with you"

One might have thought that the attorneys general of the numerous states attacking this legislation know something about the law - perhaps more so than a bunch of academics who haven't been in a courtroom in decades.

beatrice 4 years, 9 months ago

So Obama is popular when "everyone" in America is asked. Thanks for pointing that out nota.

Also, most of your polls were done before the health care bill was passed. Get back to us when the numbers are updated post the date when the bill passed, will ya?

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

beatrice (anonymous) says…

"So Obama is popular when "everyone" in America is asked. Thanks for pointing that out nota."

Why, yes, bea. Obama must be really popular with convicted felons, children, and all the other people who can't vote.

You're welcome.

In case you hadn't noticed, bea (that was rhetorical - it's pretty obvious you haven't) - Obama's numbers have been sliding pretty steadily for a year. It hasn't been because of any single issue. Oh, I'm sure there will be a momentary blip when the new polls come out - the country has no shortage of kool-aid drinkers like yourself. But you might want to remember two things: 1) Most people in the country opposed the legislation he just signed; and 2) very, very few (if any) people are going to see one iota of a difference by election day - or even the next, more important election. I almost wish he was going to be re-elected - I'd love to see his approval ratings in 2014, when insurance premiums have increased another 100-200%, well beyond any subsidies anyone's receiving, and they're all forced to pay for it anyway.

Get back to us then, will ya'? That is, if you haven't completely overdosed on the kool-aid by then (as if you haven't already).

(BTW, bea, the Gallup poll was done after the bill was signed, polling everyone, not just voters - and it's a tie. The Quinnipiac poll - and in case you weren't aware, Quinnipiac tends towards the left a little - was done after the legislation cleared the House, and they have him at -1.)

tbaker 4 years, 9 months ago

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." - Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

vertigo (Jesse Crittenden) says…

"BTW are they doing a lot of polls in prison yards these days? How about the playground catching kids at recess? I guess the children are leaving their kickball games and lining up in droves to give their opinion of Obama."

Um - it was a joke, Jesse - not as if bea deserves a serious answer. But you can't deny there is a marked difference between polls of likely voters, registered voters, and the general population, which includes those who, for whatever reason, don't vote. And let's face it - their opinion counts for - well, for absolutely nothing.

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

Let's go over it again folks. Poor people already have health care. Medicare/medicaid. This bill mainly benefits working middle class people by providing tax incentives for their employers to buy insurance and giving them better negotiating leverage when buying plans, since pre-existing conditions aren't a factor. They're adding a lot of otherwise healthy people that just couldn't afford insurance into the mix, so in theory rates should stay the same. I do have concerns that insurance companies may jack rates anyway, since there's no public option to give them incentive to be better competition, but it's a start.

If you don't like the individual mandate portion, blame Mitt Romney. But the only way you can keep costs down is if you make sure healthy people are insured along with the sick. Otherwise people would just wait until they had cancer or needed a heart transplant and then go out and buy insurance.

georgeofwesternkansas 4 years, 9 months ago

"RonHolzwarth (Ron Holzwarth) says… "challenging the bill’s constitutionality because of the requirement that every American buy health insurance"

Kansas law requires me to carry car insurance. Is that unconstitutional also?"

Kansas or Federal law does not require you to own a car. You can choose wheather or not you wish to own a car. Moron!!

gravitykills 4 years, 9 months ago

Comparisons with car insurance are lame. Driving is a PRIVILEGE. The States can force everyone to drive backwards in one lane if they wanted. They can force everyone pay high-risk insurance. And they can close every road in America to you and me. To drive on "their" road, you must have car insurance.

If you don’t like it… Don’t drive! It’s your choice.

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

vertigo (Jesse Crittenden) says…

"That's why I rarely take ANY stock in any poll. Especially the ones skewed so blatantly to one side like Rasmussen- Tom Shewmon's bread and butter."

Any poll is going to be biased - you can't account for those who decline to participate. This is especially true for telephone polls. Think about it - I assume you have caller ID? Do you always answer the phone if you don't recognize the number? More importantly, there will be a noticeable difference in the response set to a poll depending on whether the caller ID said 'Washington Post' or 'Washington Times' - especially when you consider the likelihood of answering the phone goes up dramatically if the person happens to subscribe to one of those publications.

(Then there are the special cases - 'The Wall Street Journal' might not translate well on boohoozo's caller ID, with the cyrillic characters, but 'Pravda' would be recognizable. And I'm sure if porch's mommy read the caller ID for him and told him it was 'Jack and Jill' calling, he'd pick up.)

And of course there's the bias introduced by the wording of the questions. Some polls on the healthcare issue were very dependent on those wordings. For instance, most poll results were in favor of the public option. But when asked if they were for or against the public option if it would add to the deficit, that support dried up fast.

But the way to judge how much credibility to give a certain polling organization is their demonstrated accuracy. If you compare Rasmussen's track record of, say, election polls to the actual election outcome, their record is pretty good. You can't compare them to some of the other polls in the RCP average, because most of the time they're the only ones polling likely voters as opposed to the general population.


geekyhost (anonymous) says…

"But the only way you can keep costs down is if you make sure healthy people are insured along with the sick. Otherwise people would just wait until they had cancer or needed a heart transplant and then go out and buy insurance."

Which would be the entire reason for exclusion of pre-existing conditions.

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

That's what I'm saying. If you get rid of preexisting conditions, you have to do something to make sure people are still buying insurance when their relative risks are low.

And if you keep preexisting conditions, insurance companies will use hangnails as excuses to drop coverage for cancer patients.

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